S-Nitrosohemoglobin: An allosteric mediator of NO group function in mammalian vasculature

Eric J. Frehm, Joseph Bonaventura, Andrew J. Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Since the discovery of NO as the endothelium-derived relaxing factor, there has been considerable interest in how NO interacts with hemoglobin (Hb). Numerous investigations have highlighted the possibility that rather than operating as a sink to consume NO, the vasculature can operate as a delivery mechanism for NO. The principal hypothesis proposed to explain this phenomenon is that Hb can transport NO on the conserved cysteine residue β93 and deliver that NO to the tissues in an allosterically dependent manner. This proposal has been termed the S-Nitrosohemoglobin (SNO-Hb) Hypothesis. This review addresses the experimental evidence that led to development of this hypothesis and examines much of the research that resulted from its generation. Specifically it covers the evidence concerning NO in the vasculature, the SNO-Hb Hypothesis itself, the biochemical and biophysical data relating to NO and Hb interactions, SNO-Hb in human physiology, and alternative vascular forms of NO. Finally a model of NO in the vasculature in which SNO-Hb forms the central core is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-453
Number of pages12
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Allostery
  • Free radicals
  • Hemoglobin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrosothiol


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