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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 30;109(44):18186-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1210565109. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Aberrant S-nitrosylation mediates calcium-triggered ventricular arrhythmia in the intact heart.

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Heart and Vascular Research Center, MetroHealth Campus of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) derived from the activity of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS1) is involved in S-nitrosylation of key sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) handling proteins. Deficient S-nitrosylation of the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) has a variable effect on SR Ca(2+) leak/sparks in isolated myocytes, likely dependent on the underlying physiological state. It remains unknown, however, whether such molecular aberrancies are causally related to arrhythmogenesis in the intact heart. Here we show in the intact heart, reduced NOS1 activity increased Ca(2+)-mediated ventricular arrhythmias only in the setting of elevated myocardial [Ca(2+)](i). These arrhythmias arose from increased spontaneous SR Ca(2+) release, resulting from a combination of decreased RyR2 S-nitrosylation (RyR2-SNO) and increased RyR2 oxidation (RyR-SOx) (i.e., increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) from xanthine oxidoreductase activity) and could be suppressed with xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) inhibition (i.e., allopurinol) or nitric oxide donors (i.e., S-nitrosoglutathione, GSNO). Surprisingly, we found evidence of NOS1 down-regulation of RyR2 phosphorylation at the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII) site (S2814), suggesting molecular cross-talk between nitrosylation and phosphorylation of RyR2. Finally, we show that nitroso-redox imbalance due to decreased NOS1 activity sensitizes RyR2 to a severe arrhythmic phenotype by oxidative stress. Our findings suggest that nitroso-redox imbalance is an important mechanism of ventricular arrhythmias in the intact heart under disease conditions (i.e., elevated [Ca(2+)](i) and oxidative stress), and that therapies restoring nitroso-redox balance in the heart could prevent sudden arrhythmic death.

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