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Nat Med. 2004 Nov;10(11):1200-7. Epub 2004 Oct 17.

S-Glutathiolation by peroxynitrite activates SERCA during arterial relaxation by nitric oxide.

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Vascular and Myocardial Biology Units, Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University Medical Center, X707, 650 Albany Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2393, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) physiologically stimulates the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium (Ca(2+)) ATPase (SERCA) to decrease intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and relax cardiac, skeletal and vascular smooth muscle. Here, we show that NO-derived peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) directly increases SERCA activity by S-glutathiolation and that this modification of SERCA is blocked by irreversible oxidation of the relevant cysteine thiols during atherosclerosis. Purified SERCA was S-glutathiolated by ONOO(-) and the increase in Ca(2+)-uptake activity of SERCA reconstituted in phospholipid vesicles required the presence of glutathione. Mutation of the SERCA-reactive Cys674 to serine abolished these effects. Because superoxide scavengers decreased S-glutathiolation of SERCA and arterial relaxation by NO, ONOO(-) is implicated as the intracellular mediator. NO-dependent relaxation as well as S-glutathiolation and activation of SERCA were decreased by atherosclerosis and Cys674 was found to be oxidized to sulfonic acid. Thus, irreversible oxidation of key thiol(s) in disease impairs NO-induced relaxation by preventing reversible S-glutathiolation and activation of SERCA by NO/ONOO(-).

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