S-nitrosohaemoglobin: a dynamic activity of blood involved in vascular control

Nature. 1996 Mar 21;380(6571):221-6. doi: 10.1038/380221a0.


A dynamic cycle exists in which haemoglobin is S-nitrosylated in the lung when red blood cells are oxygenated, and the NO group is released during arterial-venous transit. The vasoactivity of S-nitrosohaemoglobin is promoted by the erythrocytic export of S-nitrosothiols. These findings highlight newly discovered allosteric and electronic properties of haemoglobin that appear to be involved in the control of blood pressure and which may facilitate efficient delivery of oxygen to tissues. The role of S-nitrosohaemoglobin in the transduction of NO-related activities may have therapeutic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cysteine / physiology
  • Erythrocytes / physiology*
  • Hemoglobins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology
  • Nitroso Compounds / blood
  • Nitroso Compounds / metabolism*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / blood
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology


  • Hemoglobins
  • Nitroso Compounds
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Cysteine
  • Oxygen