Biological nitric oxide signalling: Chemistry and terminology

Tassiele A. Heinrich, Roberto S. Da Silva, Katrina M. Miranda, Christopher H. Switzer, David A. Wink, Jon M. Fukuto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


Biological nitrogen oxide signalling and stress is an area of extreme clinical, pharmacological, toxicological, biochemical and chemical research interest. The utility of nitric oxide and derived species as signalling agents is due to their novel and vast chemical interactions with a variety of biological targets. Herein, the chemistry associated with the interaction of the biologically relevant nitrogen oxide species with fundamental biochemical targets is discussed. Specifically, the chemical interactions of nitrogen oxides with nucleophiles (e.g. thiols), metals (e.g. hemeproteins) and paramagnetic species (e.g. dioxygen and superoxide) are addressed. Importantly, the terms associated with the mechanisms by which NO (and derived species) react with their respective biological targets have been defined by numerous past chemical studies. Thus, in order to assist researchers in referring to chemical processes associated with nitrogen oxide biology, the vernacular associated with these chemical interactions is addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1429
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • dinitrogen trioxide
  • metal nitrosyls
  • nitric oxide
  • nitrogen dioxide
  • nitrogen oxides
  • nitrosation
  • nitrosative signalling
  • nitrosative stress
  • nitrosylation
  • peroxynitrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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