17 February 2016
Redox signaling is a key modulator of oxidative stress induced by nonspecific insults of biological molecules generated by reactive oxygen species. Current redox biology is revisiting the traditional concept of oxidative stress, such that toxic effects of reactive oxygen species are protected by diverse antioxidant systems upregulated by oxidative stress responses that are physiologically mediated by redox-dependent cell signaling pathways. Redox signaling is thus precisely regulated by endogenous electrophilic substances that are generated from reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide and its derivative reactive species during stress responses. Among electrophiles formed endogenously, 8-nitroguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-nitro-cGMP) has unique cell signaling functions, and pathways for its biosynthesis, signaling mechanism, and metabolism in cells have been clarified. Reactive sulfur species such as cysteine hydropersulfides that are abundant in cells are likely involved in 8-nitro-cGMP metabolism. These new aspects of redox biology may stimulate innovative and multidisciplinary research in cell and stem cell biology; infectious diseases, cancer, metabolic syndrome, ageing, and neurodegenerative diseases; and other oxidative stress-related disorders. This review focuses on the most recent progress in the biosynthesis, cell signaling, and metabolism of 8-nitro-cGMP, which is a likely target for drug development and lead to discovery of novel therapeutics for many diseases.