ABSTRACT: Developmental processes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis depend on a complex interplay of events including, during metamorphosis, a caspase-dependent apoptosis which is regulated by the nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP signaling pathway. Herein we disclose an alternate NO-mediated signaling pathway during Ciona development which appears to be critically dependent on local redox control. Evidence in support of this conclusion includes: (a) inhibitors of NO synthase (NOS) and scavengers of NO-derived nitrating agents markedly decrease the rate of Ciona metamorphosis; (b) an NO donor or peroxynitrite caused an opposite effect; (c) increased protein nitration is observed at larva stage. Integrated proteomic and immunochemical methodologies identified nitrated tyrosine residues in ERK and snail. Overall, these results point to protein nitration as a hitherto overlooked NO-dependent regulatory mechanism in Ciona which is specifically triggered by elevated ROS production during developmental processes.
Nitric Oxide 04/2012; 27(1):18-24. · 3.55 Impact Factor