CARSs Enzyme Helping the Powerhouse of the Cell

By Meghan Mulvey

As cells perform their daily functions to support life, they produce waste materials that need to be removed. Various compounds, such as persulfates like CysSSH, are antioxidants that prevent cells from the damage of free radicals, harmful byproducts of cellular reactions. Until recently, the intricacies of these compounds were not known. However, a research team from Tohoku University along with others across the world studied a specific pathway where CysSSH is produced. They identified certain amino acid building blocks and enzymes, such as CARSs, that allow for the formation of CysSSH. Going even further, they discovered two different kinds of CARSs enzymes. The first is found within the cytoplasm of the cell and the second within the mitochondria. While both are important, the CARSs enzyme within the mitochondria produces the majority of CysSSH and helps with other crucial processes such as energy production and maintenance. By exploring CARSs, these researchers found an enzyme linked to energy and persulfate production. This research has important implications for treating diseases that involve mitochondria problems or abnormally high oxidant levels, such as diabetes, COPD, and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, this enzyme can overall help with increasing the quality of life or even cancer diagnosis.


Tohoku University. (2017, October 30). Sulfur respiration in mammals and antioxidant activity: A common sulfur metabolite having antioxidant activity appears to be formed with the help of an enzyme found in mitochondria, highlighting a potential area of research for future treatments of various diseases.. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 3, 2017 from