Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry

Evidence that intrinsic iron but not intrinsic copper determines S-nitrosocysteine decomposition in buffer solution.

PMID 12381416


The present experiments were designed to analyze the influence of copper and iron ions on the process of decomposition of S-nitrosocysteine (cysNO), the most labile species among S-nitrosothiols (RSNO). CysNO fate in buffer solution was evaluated by optical and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, and the consequences on its vasorelaxant effect were studied on noradrenaline-precontracted rat aortic rings. The main results are the following: (i) copper or iron ions, especially in the presence of the reducing agent ascorbate, accelerated the decomposition of cysNO and markedly attenuated the amplitude and duration of the relaxant effect of cysNO; (ii) by contrast, the iron and copper chelators bathophenantroline disulfonic acid (BPDS) and bathocuproine disulfonic acid (BCS) exerted a stabilizing effect on cysNO, prolonged its vasorelaxant effect, and abolished the influence of ascorbate; (iii) in the presence of ascorbate, BPDS displayed a selective inhibitory effect toward the influence of iron ions (but not toward copper ions) on cysNO decomposition and vasorelaxant effect, while BCS prevented the effects of both copper and iron ions; (iv) L-cysteine enhanced stability and prolonged the relaxant effect of cysNO; (v) the process of iron-induced decomposition of cysNO was associated with the formation of EPR-detectable dinitrosyl-iron complexes (DNIC) either with non-thiol- or thiol-containing ligands (depending on the presence of L-cysteine), both of which exhibiting vasorelaxant properties. From these data, it is concluded that the amount of intrinsic copper was probably too low to produce a destabilizing effect even on the most labile RSNO, cysNO, and that only intrinsic iron, through the formation of DNIC, was responsible for the process of cysNO decomposition and thus influenced its vasorelaxant properties.