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J Proteome Res. 2009 Jul;8(7):3222-38. doi: 10.1021/pr900039c.

Protein tyrosine nitration: selectivity, physicochemical and biological consequences, denitration, and proteomics methods for the identification of tyrosine-nitrated proteins.

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Department of Analytical Biochemistry, Center for Pharmacy, University of Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


Protein tyrosine nitration (PTN) is a post-translational modification occurring under the action of a nitrating agent. Tyrosine is modified in the 3-position of the phenolic ring through the addition of a nitro group (NO2). In the present article, we review the main nitration reactions and elucidate why nitration is not a random chemical process. The particular physical and chemical properties of 3-nitrotyrosine (e.g., pKa, spectrophotometric properties, reduction to aminotyrosine) will be discussed, and the biological consequences of PTN (e.g., modification of enzymatic activity, sensitivity to proteolytic degradation, impact on protein phosphorylation, immunogenicity and implication in disease) will be reviewed. Recent data indicate the possibility of an in vivo denitration process, which will be discussed with respect to the different reaction mechanisms that have been proposed. The second part of this review article focuses on analytical methods to determine this post-translational modification in complex proteomes, which remains a major challenge.

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