The conditions of the cellular microenvironment in complex multicellular organisms fluctuate, enforcing permanent adaptation of cells at multiple regulatory levels. Covalent post-translational modifications of proteins provide the short-term response tools for cellular adjustment and growing evidence supports the possibility that protein tyrosine nitration is part of this cellular toolkit and not just a marker for oxidative damage. We have demonstrated that protein tyrosine nitration fulfils the major criteria for signalling and suggest that the normally highly regulated process may lead to disease upon excessive or inappropriate nitration.

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