Nitric oxide (NO) alters the opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). However, the signaling pathways of NO on mPTP remain elusive. We aimed to clarify the contribution of thiol-mediated responses to the effects of NO on mPTP in permeabilized myocytes. We found that (1) a high concentration of spermine NONOate (an NO donor; 500 μM) opened mPTP and depolarized ΔΨ(m). (2) A low concentration of NONOate (5 μM) prevented atractyloside (an mPTP opener)-induced mPTP opening. (3) Mn(III) tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin (Mn-TBAP, ONOO(-) scavenger) attenuated the effect of high-concentration NONOate on mPTP opening, but did not inhibited the preventive effects of low-concentration NONOate. (4) When the interaction of NO with thiol was inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide, the opening (by high-concentration NONOate) and preventive effects (by low-concentration NONOate) of NONOate on mPTP were blocked. (5) Dithiothreitol (an inhibitor of disulfide bonds formation) prevented high-concentration NONOate-induced mPTP opening. (6) Ascorbic acid (an inhibitor of S-nitrosylation) prevented the preventive effects of low-concentration NONOate on mPTP. We conclude that opening of mPTP by high-concentration NO is related to disulfide bonds formation and oxidizing effects of ONOO(-). In contrast, the inhibitory effect of physiological concentrations of NO on mPTP is related to S-nitrosylation.
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