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Chemical research in toxicology

Metabolism of aminoguanidine, diaminoguanidine, and NG-amino-L-arginine by neuronal NO-synthase and covalent alteration of the heme prosthetic group.


PMID 16359183

Abstract

It is established that aminoguanidine (AG), diaminoguanidine (DAG), and NG-amino-l-arginine (NAA) are metabolism-based inactivators of the three major isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). In the case of neuronal NOS (nNOS), heme alteration is known to be a major cause of inactivation, although the exact mechanism by which this occurs is not well-understood. We show here by the use of LC/MS/MS techniques that AG, DAG, and NAA are metabolized by nNOS to products with corresponding mass ions at m/z of 45.2, 60.2, and 160.0, respectively. These results are consistent with the loss of a hydrazine moiety from each inactivator. These findings are confirmed by exact mass measurements and comparison to authentic standards in the case of the products for NAA and AG, respectively. Moreover, the major dissociable heme product that was formed during inactivation of nNOS by AG, DAG, and NAA had molecular ions at m/z 660.2, 675.2, and 775.3, respectively. These results are consistent with an adduct of heme and inactivator minus a hydrazine moiety. In support of this, MS/MS studies reveal a fragment ion of heme in each case. With the use of 14C-labeled heme, we also show that in the case of AG, the dissociable heme adduct accounts for approximately one-half of the heme that is altered. In addition, we employ a software-based differential metabolic profiling method by subtracting LC/MS data sets derived from samples that contained nNOS from those that did not contain the enzyme to search for products and substrates in complex reaction mixtures. The metabolic profiling method established in this study can be used as a general tool to search for substrates and products of enzyme systems, including the drug-metabolizing liver microsomal P450 cytochromes. We propose that the metabolism-based inactivation of nNOS by AG, DAG, and NAA occurs through oxidative removal of the hydrazine group and the formation of a radical intermediate that forms stable products after H-atom abstraction or reacts with the heme prosthetic moiety and inactivates nNOS.

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