The critical role of nitric oxide signaling, via protein S-guanylation and nitrated cyclic GMP, in the antioxidant adaptive response

Shigemoto Fujii, Tomohiro Sawa, Hideshi Ihara, Kit I. Tong, Tomoaki Ida, Tatsuya Okamoto, Ahmed Khandaker Ahtesham, Yu Ishima, Hozumi Motohashi, Masayuki Yamamoto, Takaaki Akaike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


A nitrated guanine nucleotide, 8-nitroguanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (8-nitro-cGMP), is formed via nitric oxide (NO) and causes protein S-guanylation. However, intracellular 8-nitro-cGMP levels and mechanisms of formation of 8-nitro-cGMP and S-guanylation are yet to be identified. In this study, we precisely quantified NO-dependent formation of 8-nitro-cGMP in C6 glioma cells via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Treatment of cells with S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine led to a rapid, transient increase in cGMP, after which 8-nitro-cGMP increased linearly up to a peak value comparable with that of cGMP at 24 h and declined thereafter. Markedly high levels (>40 μM) of 8-nitro-cGMP were also evident in C6 cells that had been stimulated to express inducible NO synthase with excessive NO production. The amount of 8-nitro-cGMP generated was comparable with or much higher than that of cGMP, whose production profile slightly preceded 8-nitro-cGMP formation in the activated inducible NO synthase-expressing cells. These unexpectedly large amounts of 8-nitro-cGMP suggest that GTP (a substrate of cGMP biosynthesis), rather than cGMP per se, may undergo guanine nitration. Also, 8-nitro-cGMP caused S-guanylation of KEAP1 in cells, which led to Nrf2 activation and subsequent induction of antioxidant enzymes, including heme oxygenase-1; thus, 8-nitro-cGMP protected cells against cytotoxic effects of hydrogen peroxide. Proteomic analysis for endogenously modified KEAP1 with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight-tandem mass spectrometry revealed that 8-nitro-cGMP S-guanylated the Cys434 of KEAP1. The present report is therefore the first substantial corroboration of the biological significance of cellular 8-nitro-cGMP formation and potential roles of 8-nitro-cGMP in the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23970-23984
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 30

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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