Estrogen receptor-β activation results in s-nitrosylation of proteins involved in cardioprotection

Jeffrey Lin, Charles Steenbergen, Elizabeth Murphy, Junhui Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND-: It has been shown that the activation of estrogen receptor-β (ER-β) plays an important cardioprotective role against ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the mechanism for this protection is not clear. We hypothesize that estrogen protects by ER-β activation, which leads to S-nitrosylation (SNO) of key cardioprotective proteins. METHODS AND RESULTS-: We treated ovariectomized C57BL/6J mice with the ER-β selective agonist 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-proprionitrile (DPN), 17β-estradiol (E2), or vehicle using Alzet minipumps for 2 weeks. Isolated hearts were Langendorff perfused and subjected to ischemia and reperfusion. Compared with vehicle-treated hearts, DPN- and E2-treated hearts had significantly better postischemic functional recovery and decreased infarct size. To test the specificity of DPN, we treated ER-β-knockout mice with DPN. However, no cardioprotective effect of DPN was found in ER-β-knockout mice, indicating that the DPN-induced cardioprotection occurs through the activation of ER-β. Using DyLight-maleimide fluors and a modified biotin switch method, we used a 2-dimensional DyLight fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis proteomic method to quantify differences in SNO of proteins. DPN- and E2-treated hearts showed an increase in SNO of a number of proteins. Interestingly, many of these proteins also had been shown to have increased SNO in preconditioned hearts. In addition, the DPN-induced cardioprotection and increased SNO were abolished by treatment with a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. CONCLUSION-: The activation of ER-β by DPN treatment leads to increased protein SNO and cardioprotection against ischemia/reperfusion injury, suggesting that long-term estrogen exposure protects hearts largely via activation of ER-β and nitric oxide/SNO signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 21 2009


  • Estrogen
  • Ischemia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Reperfusion injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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