Hemoglobin S-nitrosylation plays an essential role in cardioprotection.


Journal Article

Homeostatic control of tissue oxygenation is achieved largely through changes in blood flow that are regulated by the classic physiological response of hypoxic vasodilation. The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the control of blood flow is a central tenet of cardiovascular biology. However, extensive evidence now indicates that hypoxic vasodilation entails S-nitrosothiol-based (SNO-based) vasoactivity (rather than NO per se) and that this activity is conveyed substantially by the βCys93 residue in hemoglobin. Thus, tissue oxygenation in the respiratory cycle is dependent on S-nitrosohemoglobin. This perspective predicts that red blood cells (RBCs) may play an important but previously undescribed role in cardioprotection. Here, we have found that cardiac injury and mortality in models of myocardial infarction and heart failure were greatly enhanced in mice lacking βCys93 S-nitrosylation. In addition, βCys93 mutant mice exhibited adaptive collateralization of cardiac vasculature that mitigated ischemic injury and predicted outcomes after myocardial infarction. Enhanced myopathic injury and mortality across different etiologies in the absence of βCys93 confirm the central cardiovascular role of RBC-derived SNO-based vasoactivity and point to a potential locus of therapeutic intervention. Our findings also suggest the possibility that RBCs may play a previously unappreciated role in heart disease.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, R; Hess, DT; Reynolds, JD; Stamler, JS

Published Date

  • December 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 126 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 4654 - 4658

PubMed ID

  • 27841756

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27841756

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-8238

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1172/JCI90425


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States