Nitric Oxide Signaling
Nitric oxide (NO) is a radical molecule that regulates neurotransmission, vasodilation, and inflammation. As an unconventional messenger molecule, NO can modify heme iron, radicals, lipids, and thiol groups. We found that NO inhibits vascular inflammation by modifying a key cysteine residue of the ATPase N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor (NSF). S-nitrosylation of cysteine residues of NSF blocks granule trafficking in endothelial cells, platelets, and a variety of other cell types. We are now studying the reversibility of NO signaling, exploring the role of thioredoxin and other reductases in removing NO from cysteine residues.