Insights into the chemical biology of selenium

Richard S. Glass, Marla J. Berry, Eric Block, Harriet T. Boakye, Bradley A. Carlson, Jrgen Gailer, Graham N. George, Vadim N. Gladyshev, Dolph L. Hatfield, Neil E. Jacobsen, Sherida Johnson, Chethaka Kahakachchi, Rafal Kaminski, Shawn A. Manley, Heiko Mix, Ingrid J. Pickering, Elmar J. Prenner, Kazima Saira, Aleksandra Skowronska, Julian F. TysonPeter C. Uden, Qiao Wu, Xue Ming Xu, Raghav Yamdagni, Yan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The long-sought pathway by which selenocysteyl-tRNA[Ser]Sec is synthesized in eukaryotes has been revealed. Seryl-tRNA[Ser]Sec is O-phosphorylated and SecS, a pyridoxal phosphate-dependent protein, catalyzes the reaction of O-phosphoseryl-tRNA[Ser]Sec with monoselenophosphate to give selenocysteyl-tRNA[Ser]Sec. 1H-77Se HMQC-TOCSY NMR spectroscopy has been developed to detect the selenium-containing amino acids present in selenized yeast after protease XIV digestion. An archived selenized yeast sample is found to contain the novel amino acid S-(methylseleno)cysteine in addition to selenomethionine. Arsenite and selenite react with GSH to form (GS)2AsSe-. The structure of this compound has been determined by EXAFS, 77Se NMR and Raman spectroscopic and chromatographic studies. Its formation under biological conditions has been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-930
Number of pages7
JournalPhosphorus, Sulfur and Silicon and the Related Elements
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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