A discussion of the chemistry of oxidative and nitrosative stress in cytotoxicity

Katrina M. Miranda, Michael G. Espey, David A. Wink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to be a key bioregulatory agent in a wide variety of biological processes, yet cytotoxic properties have been reported as well. This dichotomy has raised the question of how this potentially toxic species can be involved in so many fundamental physiological processes. We have investigated the effects of NO on a variety of toxic agents and correlated how its chemistry might pertain to the observed biology. The results generate a scheme termed the chemical biology of NO in which the pertinent reactions can be categorized into direct and indirect effects. The former involves the direct reaction of NO with its biological targets generally at low fluxes of NO. Indirect effects are reactions mediated by reactive nitrogen oxide species, such as those generated from the NO/O2 and NO/O2- reactions, which can lead to cellular damage via nitrosation or oxidation of biological components. This report discusses several examples of cytotoxicity involved with these stresses. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Apr 30 2000


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrosative stress
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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