Rassaf, Tienush, Bryan, Nathan S., Kelm, Malte and Feelisch, Martin
Concomitant presence of N-nitroso and S-nitroso proteins in human plasma
Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 33, (11), . (doi:10.1016/S0891-5849(02)01183-8). (PMID:12446216).
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Nitric oxide (NO)-mediated nitrosation reactions are involved in cell signaling and pathology. Recent efforts have focused on elucidating the role of S-nitrosothiols (RSNO) in different biological systems, including human plasma, where they are believed to represent a transport and buffer system that controls intercellular NO exchange. Although RSNOs have been implicated in cardiovascular disease processes, it is yet unclear what their true physiological concentration is, whether a change in plasma concentration is causally related to the underlying pathology or purely epiphenomenological, and to what extent other nitrosyl adducts may be formed under the same conditions. Therefore, using gas phase chemiluminescence and liquid chromatography we sought to quantify the basal plasma levels of NO-related metabolites in 18 healthy volunteers. We find that in addition to the oxidative products of NO metabolism, nitrite (0.20 +/- 0.02 micromol/l nitrite) and nitrate (14.4 +/- 1.7 micromol/l), on average human plasma contains an approximately 5-fold higher concentration of N-nitroso species (32.3 +/- 5.0 nmol/l) than RSNOs (7.2 +/- 1.1 nmol/l). Both N- and S-nitroso moieties appear to be associated with the albumin fraction. This is the first report on the constitutive presence of a high-molecular-weight N-nitroso compound in the human circulation, raising the question as to its origin and potential physiological role. Our findings may not only have important implications for the transport of NO in vivo, but also for cardiovascular disease diagnostics and the risk assessment of nitrosamine-related carcinogenesis in man.
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