Endogenous generation of nitro-fatty acid hybrids having dual nitrate ester (RONO2) and nitroalkene (RNO2) substituents

Academic Article


  • Organic nitrate esters, long-recognized therapies for cardiovascular disorders, have not been detected biologically. We characterize in rat stomach unsaturated fatty acid nitration reactions that proceed by generation of nitro-nitrate intermediates (NO2–ONO2-FA) via oxygen and nitrite dependent reactions. NO2–ONO2-lipids represent ∼70% of all nitrated lipids in the stomach and they decay in vitro at neutral or basic pH by the loss of the nitrate ester group (-ONO2) from the carbon backbone upon deprotonation of the α-carbon (pKa ∼7), yielding nitrate, nitrite, nitrosative species, and an electrophilic fatty acid nitroalkene product (NO2-FA). Of note, NO2-FA are anti-inflammatory and tissue-protective signaling mediators, which are undergoing Phase II trials for the treatment of kidney and pulmonary diseases. The decay of NO2–ONO2-FA occurs during intestinal transit and absorption, leading to the formation of NO2-FA that were subsequently detected in circulating plasma triglycerides. These observations provide new insight into unsaturated fatty acid nitration mechanisms, identify nitro-nitrate ester-containing lipids as intermediates in the formation of both secondary nitrogen oxides and electrophilic fatty acid nitroalkenes, and expand the scope of endogenous products stemming from metabolic reactions of nitrogen oxides.
  • Published In

  • Redox Biology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fazzari M; Woodcock SR; Rowart P; Ricart K; Lancaster JR; Patel R; Vitturi DA; Freeman BA; Schopfer FJ
  • Volume

  • 41