The toxicity of high copper (Cu) concentrations in the root environment of Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) was little influenced by the sulphur nutritional status of the plant. However, Cu toxicity removed the correlation between sulphur metabolism-related gene expression and the suggested regulatory metabolites. At high tissue Cu levels, there was no relation between sulphur metabolite levels viz. total sulphur, sulphate and water-soluble non-protein thiols, and the expression and activity of sulphate transporters and expression of APS reductase under sulphate-sufficient or-deprived conditions, in the presence or absence of H2S. This indicated that the regulatory signal transduction pathway of sulphate transporters was overruled or by-passed upon exposure to elevated Cu concentrations.