Nitro-fatty acids are a class of endogenous electrophilic lipid mediators with anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects in a wide range of inflammatory and fibrotic disease models. Only a small number of proteins are known to be nitro- alkylated and the scope of protein Nitro-alkylation remains undetermined.
Nitro-fatty acids are a class of endogenous electrophilic lipid mediators with anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects in a wide range of inflammatory and fibrotic disease models. While these beneficial biological effects of nitro-fatty acids are mainly attributed to their ability to form covalent adducts with proteins, only a small number of proteins are known to be nitro- alkylated and the scope of protein nitro-alkylation remains undetermined. Here we describe the synthesis and application of a clickable nitro-fatty acid probe for the detection and first global identification of mammalian proteins that are susceptible to nitro-alkylation. 184 high confidence nitro-alkylated proteins were identified in human macrophages, majority of which are novel targets of nitro-fatty acids, including Extended synaptotagmin 2 (ESYT2), Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), Retinoid X receptor alpha (RXR) and Glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1). In particular, we showed that 9- nitro-oleate covalently modified and inhibited dexamethasone binding to NR3C1. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that nitro-alkylated proteins are highly enriched in endoplasmic reticulum and transmembrane proteins, and are overrepresented in lipid metabolism and transport pathways. This study significantly expands the scope of protein substrates targeted by nitro-fatty acids in living cells and provides a useful resource towards understanding the pleiotropic biological roles of nitro-fatty acids as signaling molecules or as multi-target therapeutic agents.