Biochemical properties and biological functions of the enzyme rhodanese in domestic animals

Document Type: Review article


Department of Biochemistry, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran


The enzyme rhodanese (thiosulfate: cyanide sulfurtransferase) is a ubiquitous enzyme and its activity is
present in all living organisms. Many functions including cyanide detoxification, formation of iron-sulfur
centers and participation in energy metabolism have been attributed to this enzyme. The enzyme catalyzes
the transfer of a sulfur atom from sulfane containing compounds (such as thiosulfate) to thiophilic anions
(such as cyanide). The sulfhydryl group of cysteine-247 in the molecule of rhodanese participates in a double displacement of sulfur transfer mechanism. In this review attempt will be made to summarize the latest information available on the molecular properties and the pattern of distribution of rhodanese in different tissues of domestic animals and to combine these different lines of research to arrive at a plausible
explanation regarding the biological function of this important enzyme in living organisms.