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Alcohol. 1997 Mar-Apr;14(2):181-9.

Mechanism for the inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase by nitric oxide.

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Medical Research Laboratories, Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA.


The inhibition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae aldehyde dehydrogenase (AlDH) by gaseous nitric oxide (NO) in solution and by NO generated from diethylamine nonoate was time and concentration dependent. The presence of oxygen significantly reduced the extent of inhibition by NO, indicating that NO itself rather than an oxidation product of NO such as N2O3 is the inhibitory species under physiological conditions. A cysteine residue at the active site of the enzyme was implicated in this inhibition based on the following observations: a) NAD+ and NADP+, but not reduced cofactors, significantly enhanced inhibition of AlDH by NO; b) the aldehyde substrate, benzaldehyde, blocked inhibition; and c) inhibition was accompanied by loss of free sulfhydryl groups on the enzyme. Activity of the NO-inactivated enzyme was readily restored by treatment with dithiothreitol (DTT), but not with GSH. This difference was attributed, in part, to a redox process leading to the formation of a cyclic DTT disulfide. Based on the chemistry deduced from model systems, the reaction of NO with AlDH sulfhydryls was shown to produce intramolecular disulfides and N2O. These disulfides were shown to be intrasubunit disulfides by nonreducing SDS-PAGE analysis of the NO- inhibited enzyme. Following complete inhibition of AlDH by NO, four of the eight titratable (Ellman's reagent) sulfhydryl groups of AlDH were found to be oxidized to disulfides. These results suggest that a) the sulfhydryl group of active site Cys-302 and a proximal cysteine are oxidized to form an intrasubunit disulfide by NO; b) only two of the four subunits of AlDH are catalytically active; and c) NO preferentially oxidizes sulfhydryl groups of the catalytically active subunits. A detailed mechanism for the inhibition of AlDH by NO is presented.

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