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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Jul;64(13):1609-20.

Molecular mechanisms of nitrosative stress-mediated protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases.

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Center for Neuroscience and Aging, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA.


Nitrosative and oxidative stress, associated with the generation of excessive reactive oxygen or nitrogen species, are thought to contribute to neurodegenerative disorders. Many such diseases are characterized by conformational changes in proteins that result in their misfolding and aggregation. Accumulating evidence implies that at least two pathways affect protein folding: the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and molecular chaperones. Normal protein degradation by the UPS can prevent accumulation of aberrantly folded proteins. Molecular chaperones - such as protein-disulfide isomerase, glucose-regulated protein 78, and heat shock proteins - can provide neuroprotection from aberrant proteins by facilitating proper folding and thus preventing their aggregation. Our recent studies have linked nitrosative stress to protein misfolding and neuronal cell death. Here, we present evidence for the hypothesis that nitric oxide contributes to degenerative conditions by S-nitrosylating specific chaperones or UPS proteins that would otherwise prevent accumulation of misfolded proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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