Protein cysteine S-guanylation and electrophilic signal transduction by endogenous nitro-nucleotides

Khandaker Ahtesham Ahmed, Tomohiro Sawa, Takaaki Akaike

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide (NO), a gaseous free radical that is synthesized in organisms by nitric oxide synthases, participates in a critical fashion in the regulation of diverse physiological functions such as vascular and neuronal signal transduction, host defense, and cell death regulation. Two major pathways of NO signaling involve production of the second messenger guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) and posttranslational modification (PTM) of redox-sensitive cysteine thiols of proteins. We recently clarified the physiological formation of 8-nitroguanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (8-nitro-cGMP) as the first demonstration, since the discovery of cGMP more than 40 years ago, of a new second messenger derived from cGMP in mammals. 8-Nitro-cGMP is electrophilic and reacts efficiently with sulfhydryls of proteins to produce a novel PTM via cGMP adduction, a process that we named protein S-guanylation. 8-Nitro-cGMP may regulate electrophilic signaling on the basis of its electrophilicity through induction of S-guanylation of redox sensor proteins. Examples include S-guanylation of the redox sensor protein Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), which leads to activation of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)- dependent expression of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes. This S-guanylation-mediated activation of an antioxidant adaptive response may play an important role in cytoprotection during bacterial infections and oxidative stress. Identification of new redox-sensitive proteins as targets for S-guanylation may help development of novel therapeutics for oxidative stress- and inflammation-related disorders and vascular diseases as well as understanding of cellular protection against oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive response
  • Electrophilic signal
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidative stress
  • Posttranslational modification
  • ROS signal
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Redox signal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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