Quantitative site-specific reactivity profiling of S-nitrosylation in mouse skeletal muscle using cysteinyl peptide enrichment coupled with mass spectrometry

Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Apr;57:68-78. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.12.010. Epub 2012 Dec 28.


S-nitrosylation, the formation of S-nitrosothiol (SNO), is an important reversible thiol oxidation event that has been increasingly recognized for its role in cell signaling. Although many proteins susceptible to S-nitrosylation have been reported, site-specific identification of physiologically relevant SNO modifications remains an analytical challenge because of the low abundance and labile nature of this modification. Herein we present further improvement and optimization of the recently reported resin-assisted cysteinyl peptide enrichment protocol for SNO identification and its application to mouse skeletal muscle to identify specific cysteine sites sensitive to S-nitrosylation by a quantitative reactivity profiling strategy. Our results indicate that the protein- and peptide-level enrichment protocols provide comparable specificity and coverage of SNO-peptide identifications. S-nitrosylation reactivity profiling was performed by quantitatively comparing the site-specific SNO modification levels in samples treated with S-nitrosoglutathione, an NO donor, at two different concentrations (i.e., 10 and 100 μM). The reactivity profiling experiments led to the identification of 488 SNO-modified sites from 197 proteins with specificity of ∼95% at the unique peptide level, i.e., ∼95% of enriched peptides contain cysteine residues as the originally SNO-modified sites. Among these sites, 281 from 145 proteins were considered more sensitive to S-nitrosylation based on the ratios of observed SNO levels between the two treatments. These SNO-sensitive sites are more likely to be physiologically relevant. Many of the SNO-sensitive proteins are localized in mitochondria, contractile fiber, and actin cytoskeleton, suggesting the susceptibility of these subcellular compartments to redox regulation. Moreover, these observed SNO-sensitive proteins are primarily involved in metabolic pathways, including the tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, glutathione metabolism, and fatty acid metabolism, suggesting the importance of redox regulation in muscle metabolism and insulin action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Contractile Proteins / metabolism
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Proteomics
  • S-Nitrosoglutathione / chemistry
  • S-Nitrosoglutathione / metabolism
  • S-Nitrosoglutathione / pharmacology
  • S-Nitrosothiols / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Contractile Proteins
  • Peptides
  • S-Nitrosothiols
  • S-Nitrosoglutathione
  • Cysteine