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J Biol Chem. 2007 Dec 28;282(52):37448-53. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

S-nitrosation of mitochondrial complex I depends on its structural conformation.

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  • 1Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London, London, UK.


Nitric oxide is known to cause persistent inhibition of mitochondrial respiration as a result of S-nitrosation of NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) (Clementi, E., Brown, G. C., Feelisch, M., and Moncada, S. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 95, 7631-7636). Little is known about whether such nitrosation occurs in physiological conditions and, if so, what are the possible cellular mechanisms. We have now found that the conformational state (active/deactive transition (Vinogradov, A. D. (1998) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1364, 169-185)) of mitochondrial complex I is an important factor for the interaction of the enzyme with nitrosothiols and peroxynitrite. Only the deactivated, idle form of complex I was susceptible to inhibition by nitrosothiols and peroxynitrite. In contrast, the active form of the enzyme was insensitive to such treatment. Neither form of complex I was inhibited by nitric oxide itself. Our data suggest that the process of active/deactive transition plays an important role in the regulation of complex I activity and cellular respiration by nitric oxide. The implications of this finding for hypoxic or pathophysiological conditions in vivo are discussed.

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