In this review encouraged by original data, we first provided in vivo evidence that the kidney, comparative to the liver or brain, is an organ particularly rich in cysteine. In the kidney, the total availability of cysteine was higher in cortex tissue than in the medulla and distributed in free reduced, free oxidized and protein-bound fractions (in descending order). Next, we provided a comprehensive integrated review on the evidence that supports the reliance on cysteine of the kidney beyond cysteine antioxidant properties, highlighting the relevance of cysteine and its renal metabolism in the control of cysteine excess in the body as a pivotal source of metabolites to kidney biomass and bioenergetics and a promoter of adaptive responses to stressors. This view might translate into novel perspectives on the mechanisms of kidney function and blood pressure regulation and on clinical implications of the cysteine-related thiolome as a tool in precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1416
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Bioenergetics
  • Cysteine transporters
  • Cysteine-related thiolome
  • Ferroptosis
  • Glutathione
  • H S
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoxia
  • Kidney metabolism
  • Lysosomes


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