Tomohiro Nakamura, Ph.D.

Scintillian Institute & The Scripps Research Institute

Our group is focused on a nitric oxide (NO)-mediated posttranslational modification called S-nitrosylation, whereby an NO group reacts with a critical cysteine thiol of a specific protein to regulate its function, akin to the effect of phosphorylation. Excessive generation of NO in the nervous system may constitute a fundamental pathological process in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Our research is directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of how protein S-nitrosylation contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction, protein misfolding, and increased cell death under neurodegenerative conditions.