Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 96, Issue 3–4, pp 281–299 | Cite as

Exogenous H2S switches cardiac energy substrate metabolism by regulating SIRT3 expression in db/db mice

  • Yu Sun
  • Zhiliang Tian
  • Ning Liu
  • Linxue Zhang
  • Zhaopeng Gao
  • Xiaojiao Sun
  • Miao Yu
  • Jichao Wu
  • Fan Yang
  • Yajun Zhao
  • Huan Ren
  • He Chen
  • Dechao Zhao
  • Yan Wang
  • Shiyun Dong
  • Changqing Xu
  • Fanghao Lu
  • Weihua Zhang
Original Article


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is involved in diverse physiological functions, such as anti-hypertension, anti-proliferation, regulating ATP synthesis, and reactive oxygen species production. Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is a NAD + -dependent deacetylase that regulates mitochondrial energy metabolism. The role of H2S in energy metabolism in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) may be related to regulate SIRT3 expression; however, this role remains to be elucidated. We hypothesized that exogenous H2S could switch cardiac energy metabolic substrate preference by lysine acetylation through promoting the expression of SIRT3 in cardiac tissue of db/db mice. Db/db mice, neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, and H9c2 cell line with the treatment of high glucose, oleate, and palmitate were used as animal and cellular models of type 2 diabetes. Using LC-MS/MS, we identified 76 proteins that increased acetylation, including 8 enzymes related to fatty acid β-oxidation and 7 enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in the db/db mice hearts compared to those with the treatment of NaHS. Exogenous H2S restored the expression of NAMPT and the ratio of NAD+/NADH enhanced the expression and activity of SIRT3. As a result of activation of SIRT3, the acetylation level and activity of fatty acid β-oxidation enzyme LCAD and the acetylation of glucose oxidation enzymes PDH, IDH2, and CS were reduced which resulted in activation of PDH, IDH2, and CS. Our finding suggested that H2S induced a switch in cardiac energy substrate utilization from fatty acid β-oxidation to glucose oxidation in DCM through regulating SIRT3 pathway.

Key messages

  • H2S regulated the acetylation level and activities of enzymes in fatty acid oxidation and glucose oxidation in cardiac tissues of db/db mice.

  • Exogenous H2S decreased mitochondrial acetylation level through upregulating the expression and activity of SIRT3 in vivo and in vitro.

  • H2S induced a switch in cardiac energy substrate utilization from fatty acid oxidation to glucose.


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) Surtuin 3 Acetylation Fatty acid β-oxidation Glucose oxidation 





Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1


Citrate synthase


Cystathionine gamma-lyase


Diabetic cardiomyopathy


Electronic supplementary material


Fatty acid β-oxidation


Free fatty acid


Gene ontology


Hydrogen sulfide


Isocitrate dehydrogenase


Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes


Long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase




Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides




Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase


Nicotinamide mononucleotide


Pyruvate dehydrogenase




Respiratory control rate


Silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog


Sirtuin 3


Tricarboxylic acid cycle


Type 2 diabetes mellitus



We thank Jingjie PTM BioLab Co.Ltd. (Hangzhou, China) for the mass spectrometry analysis.

Contribution statement

Zhang Weihua, Lu Fanghao and Sun Yu designed, developed, and performed the majority of the experiments. Zhiliang Tian, Lin Ning, Linxue Zhang, Shiyun Dong and Zhao Yajun performed mitochondrial enzyme activities analysis. Ren Huan, He Chen, Fan Yang, Jichao Wu, Yan Wang and Dechao Zhao provided additional bioinformatic data analysis. Gao Zhaopeng, Xiaojiao Sun, Miao Yu and Changqing Xu performed immunoprecipitation analysis. Zhang Weihua and Lu Fanghao supervised and managed the project and edited large sections of the manuscript. All authors contributed to writing and revising the manuscript.

To whom correspondence should be addressed Department of Pathophysiology, Harbin Medical university, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province 150086. Tel.:451-86674548; E-mail:; These authors contributed equally to this work.


This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81670344, 81370421, 81370330) and the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang (No. D201070).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

109_2017_1616_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 2285 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Sun
    • 1
  • Zhiliang Tian
    • 2
  • Ning Liu
    • 1
  • Linxue Zhang
    • 1
  • Zhaopeng Gao
    • 1
  • Xiaojiao Sun
    • 1
  • Miao Yu
    • 1
  • Jichao Wu
    • 1
  • Fan Yang
    • 1
  • Yajun Zhao
    • 1
  • Huan Ren
    • 3
  • He Chen
    • 4
  • Dechao Zhao
    • 5
  • Yan Wang
    • 6
  • Shiyun Dong
    • 1
  • Changqing Xu
    • 1
  • Fanghao Lu
    • 1
  • Weihua Zhang
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of PathophysiologyHarbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Department of PediatricSecond Clinical Medical School of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  3. 3.Department of ImmunologyHarbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  4. 4.Department of PathologyHarbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyFirst Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  6. 6.Department of Urologic SurgeryFirst Clinical Medical School of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  7. 7.Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Medicine ResearchHarbin Medical University Ministry of EducationHarbinChina

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