S-Nitrosylation Is Emerging as a Specific and Fundamental Posttranslational Protein Modification: Head-to-Head Comparison with O-Phosphorylation

Sci. STKE, 12 June 2001
Vol. 2001, Issue 86, p. re1
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.86.re1

S-Nitrosylation Is Emerging as a Specific and Fundamental Posttranslational Protein Modification: Head-to-Head Comparison with O-Phosphorylation

  1. Paul Lane,
  2. Gang Hao, and
  3. Steven S. Gross
  1. The authors are in the Department of Pharmacology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, Room LC-218, New York, NY 10021, USA. E-mail: ssgross{at}med.cornell.edu.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a free-radical product of mammalian cell metabolism that plays diverse and important roles in the regulation of cell function. Biological actions of NO arise as a direct consequence of chemical reactions between NO or NO-derived species and protein targets. Reactions of NO with transition metals in target proteins have garnered the most attention to date as the principal mechanism of NO signaling; nonetheless, S-nitrosylation of protein Cys residues is rapidly moving to center stage in importance. In general, however, there has been a delay in adequate appreciation of the role of S-nitrosylation in biological signaling by NO. This lag is attributed to a poor understanding of the basis for selective targeting of NO to particular thiols, and methodological limitations in accurately quantifying this modification--recent breakthroughs in concepts and methods diminish these barriers. Here, we consider the wheres and whys of protein S-nitrosylation and its basis for specificity. Protein S-nitrosylation potentially represents a ubiquitous and fundamental mechanism for posttranslational control of protein activity on a par with that of O-phosphorylation.


P. Lane, G. Hao, and S. S. Gross, S-Nitrosylation Is Emerging as a Specific and Fundamental Posttranslational Protein Modification: Head-to-Head Comparison with O-Phosphorylation. Sci. STKE 2001, re1 (2001).

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