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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2013, Article ID 797914, 15 pages
Review Article

The Role of S-Nitrosylation and S-Glutathionylation of Protein Disulphide Isomerase in Protein Misfolding and Neurodegeneration

1Department of Neuroscience in the School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia
2Department of Biochemistry, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia

Received 21 June 2013; Revised 19 August 2013; Accepted 2 September 2013

Academic Editor: Christian Appenzeller-Herzog

Copyright © 2013 M. Halloran et al. 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.


Neurodegenerative diseases involve the progressive loss of neurons, and a pathological hallmark is the presence of abnormal inclusions containing misfolded proteins. Although the precise molecular mechanisms triggering neurodegeneration remain unclear, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, elevated oxidative and nitrosative stress, and protein misfolding are important features in pathogenesis. Protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) is the prototype of a family of molecular chaperones and foldases upregulated during ER stress that are increasingly implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. PDI catalyzes the rearrangement and formation of disulphide bonds, thus facilitating protein folding, and in neurodegeneration may act to ameliorate the burden of protein misfolding. However, an aberrant posttranslational modification of PDI, S-nitrosylation, inhibits its protective function in these conditions. S-nitrosylation is a redox-mediated modification that regulates protein function by covalent addition of nitric oxide- (NO-) containing groups to cysteine residues. Here, we discuss the evidence for abnormal S-nitrosylation of PDI (SNO-PDI) in neurodegeneration and how this may be linked to another aberrant modification of PDI, S-glutathionylation. Understanding the role of aberrant S-nitrosylation/S-glutathionylation of PDI in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases may provide insights into novel therapeutic interventions in the future.