Oxidative stress may contribute to the pathology of many diseases, and endogenous thiols, especially glutathione (GSH) and its metabolites, play essential roles in the maintenance of normal redox status. Understanding how these metabolites change in response to oxidative insult can provide key insights into potential methods of prevention and treatment. Most existing methodologies focus only on the GSH/GSH disulfide (GSSG) redox couple, but GSH regulation is highly complex and depends on several pathways with multiple redox-active sulfur-containing species. In order to more fully characterize thiol redox status in response to oxidative insult, a high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) method was developed to simultaneously determine seven sulfur-containing metabolites, generating a panel that systematically examines several pathways involved in thiol metabolism and oxidative stress responses. The sensitivity (LOQ as low as 0.01 ng/mL), accuracy (88-126% spike recovery), and precision (≤ 12% RSD) were comparable or superior to those of existing methods. Additionally, the method was used to compare the baseline thiol profiles and oxidative stress responses of cell lines derived from different tissues. The results revealed a previously unreported response to oxidative stress in lens epithelial (B3) cells, which may be exploited as a new therapeutic target for oxidative-stress-related ocular diseases. Further application of this method may uncover new pathways involved in oxidative-stress-related diseases and endogenous defense mechanisms.


Computer Science

Second Department



This work was supported by the Richard K. Vitek/FCR Endowment in Biochemistry at Missouri University of Science and Technology and the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R15EY029813-01A1.

Keywords and Phrases

Biomarker; Cancer cells; Glutathione; HPLC-MS/MS; Lens epithelial cells; Thiol

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2022