Crystal-facet-dependent denitrosylation: modulation of NO release from S-nitrosothiols by Cu2O polymorphs†
Nitric oxide (NO), a gaseous small molecule generated by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes, plays key roles in signal transduction. The thiol groups present in many proteins and small molecules undergo nitrosylation to form the corresponding S-nitrosothiols. The release of NO from S-nitrosothiols is a key strategy to maintain the NO levels in biological systems. However, the controlled release of NO from the nitrosylated compounds at physiological pH remains a challenge. In this paper, we describe the synthesis and NO releasing ability of Cu2O nanomaterials and provide the first experimental evidence that the nanocrystals having different crystal facets within the same crystal system exhibit different activities toward S-nitrosothiols. We used various imaging techniques and time-dependent spectroscopic measurements to understand the nature of catalytically active species involved in the surface reactions. The denitrosylation reactions by Cu2O can be carried out multiple times without affecting the catalytic activity.