Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has attracted significant attention as a seed in drug development. However, H2S is toxic and induces lethal acute intoxication. Here, we developed methemoglobin (metHb)-albumin clusters as detoxifying agents for H2S intoxication, which were designed based on the inherent binding property of metHb with H2S. The metHb-albumin clusters comprising an autoxidized ferric Hb center wrapped covalently with an average of three human serum albumins showed a similar H2S binding affinity to that of naked metHb. Owing to the H2S binding capability, metHb-albumin clusters suppressed cell death induced by H2S exposure while maintaining mitochondrial function in H9c2 cells. In addition, lethal H2S intoxication model mice were rescued by a single administration of metHb-albumin clusters, resulting from the recovery of cytochrome c oxidase activity. Furthermore, the metHb-albumin clusters possessed essential characteristics, such as adequate pharmacokinetic properties and biocompatibility, for their use as detoxifying agents against H2S intoxication. In conclusion, the results obtained in this study suggest that metHb-albumin clusters are promising detoxifying agents for H2S intoxication and that harnessing the inherent H2S binding properties of metHb is an innovative approach to develop detoxifying agents for H2S intoxication.
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