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Disease Markers
Volume 2015, Article ID 708282, 8 pages
Review Article

3-Nitrotyrosine Modified Proteins in Atherosclerosis

Instituto de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Iguá 4225, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay

Received 28 December 2014; Accepted 17 February 2015

Academic Editor: Dinesh Kumbhare

Copyright © 2015 Leonor Thomson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death worldwide, and atherosclerosis is the main contributor. Lipid-laden macrophages, known as foam cells, accumulate in the subendothelial space of the lesion area and contribute to consolidate a chronic inflammatory environment where oxygen and nitrogen derived oxidants are released. Oxidatively modified lipids and proteins are present both in plasma as well as atherosclerotic lesions. A relevant oxidative posttranslational protein modification is the addition of a nitro group to the hydroxyphenyl ring of tyrosine residues, mediated by nitric oxide derived oxidants. Nitrotyrosine modified proteins were found in the lesion and also in plasma from atherosclerotic patients. Despite the fact of the low yield of nitration, immunogenic, proatherogenic, and prothrombotic properties acquired by 3-nitrotyrosine modified proteins are in agreement with epidemiological studies showing a significant correlation between the level of nitration found in plasma proteins and the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, supporting the usefulness of this biomarker to predict the outcome and to take appropriate therapeutic decisions in atherosclerotic disease.