Covalent adduction of a NO moiety to cysteines (S-nitrosylation or SNO) is a major route for NO to directly regulate protein functions. In uterine artery endothelial cells (UAEC), estradiol-17β (E2) rapidly stimulated protein SNO that maximized within 10-30 min post-E2 exposure. E2-bovine serum albumin stimulated protein SNO similarly. Stimulation of SNO by both was blocked by ICI 182, 780, implicating mechanisms linked to specific estrogen receptors (ERs) localized on the plasma membrane. E2-induced protein SNO was attenuated by selective ERβ, but not ERα, antagonists. A specific ERβ but not ERα agonist was able to induce protein SNO. Overexpression of ERβ, but not ERα, significantly enhanced E2-induced SNO. Overexpression of both ERs increased basal SNO, but did not further enhance E2-stimulated SNO. E2-induced SNO was inhibited by N-nitro-L-arginine-methylester and specific endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) siRNA. Thus, estrogen-induced SNO is mediated by endogenous NO via eNOS and mainly ERβ in UAEC. We further analyzed the nitroso-proteomes by CyDye switch technique combined with two-dimensional (2D) fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis. Numerous nitrosoprotein (spots) were visible on the 2D gel. Sixty spots were chosen and subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Among the 54 identified, nine were novel SNO-proteins, 32 were increased, eight were decreased, and the rest were unchanged by E2. Tandom MS identified Cys139 as a specific site for SNO in GAPDH. Pathway analysis of basal and estrogen-responsive nitroso-proteomes suggested that SNO regulates diverse protein functions, directly implicating SNO as a novel mechanism for estrogen to regulate uterine endothelial function and thus uterine vasodilatation.
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