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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 30;106(26):10764-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903250106. Epub 2009 Jun 15.

A mitochondria-targeted S-nitrosothiol modulates respiration, nitrosates thiols, and protects against ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0XY, United Kingdom.


Nitric oxide (NO(*)) competitively inhibits oxygen consumption by mitochondria at cytochrome c oxidase and S-nitrosates thiol proteins. We developed mitochondria-targeted S-nitrosothiols (MitoSNOs) that selectively modulate and protect mitochondrial function. The exemplar MitoSNO1, produced by covalently linking an S-nitrosothiol to the lipophilic triphenylphosphonium cation, was rapidly and extensively accumulated within mitochondria, driven by the membrane potential, where it generated NO(*) and S-nitrosated thiol proteins. MitoSNO1-induced NO(*) production reversibly inhibited respiration at cytochrome c oxidase and increased extracellular oxygen concentration under hypoxic conditions. MitoSNO1 also caused vasorelaxation due to its NO(*) generation. Infusion of MitoSNO1 during reperfusion was protective against heart ischemia-reperfusion injury, consistent with a functional modification of mitochondrial proteins, such as complex I, following S-nitrosation. These results support the idea that selectively targeting NO(*) donors to mitochondria is an effective strategy to reversibly modulate respiration and to protect mitochondria against ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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