Protein S-nitrosylation: Role for nitric oxide signaling in neuronal death

Neelam Shahani, Akira Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: One of the signaling mechanisms mediated by nitric oxide (NO) is through S-nitrosylation, the reversible redox-based modification of cysteine residues, on target proteins that regulate a myriad of physiological and pathophysiological processes. In particular, an increasing number of studies have identified important roles for S-nitrosylation in regulating cell death. Scope of review: The present review focuses on different targets and functional consequences associated with nitric oxide and protein S-nitrosylation during neuronal cell death. Major conclusions: S-Nitrosylation exhibits double-edged effects dependent on the levels, spatiotemporal distribution, and origins of NO in the brain: in general Snitrosylation resulting from the basal low level of NO in cells exerts anti-cell death effects, whereas S-nitrosylation elicited by induced NO upon stressed conditions is implicated in pro-cell death effects. General Significance: Dysregulated protein S-nitrosylation is implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases including degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Elucidating specific targets of S-nitrosylation as well as their regulatory mechanisms may aid in the development of therapeutic intervention in a wide range of brain diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-742
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase
  • Nitric oxide
  • S-nitrosylation
  • XIAP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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