Abnormal sulphur oxidation in systemic lupus erythematosus

C Gordon, H Bradley, R H Waring, P Emery

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42 Citations (Scopus)


S-carboxy-L-methylcysteine was used to assess the activity of the S-oxidation pathway of sulphur metabolism in 35 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); 25 (71%) showed impaired sulphoxidation and 21 (60%) produced virtually no sulphoxides, compared with 17 (36%) and 2 (4%), respectively, of 47 healthy controls. The substrate/product ratio of cysteine oxygenase (plasma cysteine/sulphate) was significantly higher in SLE patients than in controls (median [interquartile range] 362 [224-588] vs 65 [44-111]; p less than 0.00001). The alternative pathway of sulphur metabolism, S-methylation, catalysed by thiolmethyltransferase, was not impaired in the SLE patients. There is a biochemical difference in sulphur metabolism between SLE and rheumatoid arthritis, since both pathways are impaired in the latter disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-6
Number of pages2
Issue number8784
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 1992


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbocysteine
  • Cysteine Dioxygenase
  • Dioxygenases
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
  • Methyltransferases
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygenases
  • Sulfates
  • Sulfur


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