EPR Detection and Biological Implications of Nitrosyl Nonheme Iron Complexes

  • Anatoly F. Vanin
  • Andrei L. Kleschyov


The problem of unequivocal detection of nitric oxide (NO) and its derivatives in living systems remains a challenging task for investigators. In this regard, one of the most useful and promising approaches has proved to be technique(s) using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy (Henry et al., 1996). This chapter describes the advantages and the limitations of the approach based on studying paramagnetic nonheme iron-NO complexes with sulphur-containing ligands by EPR. Additionally, the biological activities of these complexes will be discussed. Emphasis will be given to the work done in our group during the last 30 years, which is not well known to Western scientists. First, we consider dinitrosyl iron complexes (DNIC) with endogenous thiol ligands having the general formula (RS)2 Fe+(NO+)2, their physicochemical properties, mechanism of generation in cells and tissues, and the value of their EPR assessment as an indicator of NO formation. Then we show that introduction of exogenous ligands such as dithiocarbamate derivatives (alone or with iron) can stabilize Fe-NO complexes and thus sharply increase NO trapping capacity of the system. We also illustrate some successful applications of this approach. In the third part of the chapter we demonstrate that nitrosyl nonheme iron complexes can be considered not only production as indicative of NO but also that when applied exogenously as model complexes, may in themselves be very interesting and potential pharmacological tools, acting as NO donors and nitrosylating compounds.


Nitric Oxide Nitric Oxide Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectrum Iron Complex 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatoly F. Vanin
    • 1
  • Andrei L. Kleschyov
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Chemical PhysicsRussian Academy of ScienceMoscowRussia
  2. 2.CNRS URA 600Université Louis Pasteur de StrasbourgIllkirchFrance

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