Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Sruti Shiva, PhD
Associate Professor
E1240 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, , PA 15213

Phone: 412-383-5854


BS (Biomedical Sciences and Chemistry), Unviersity of South Alabama, 1999
PhD (Cellular and Molecular Pathology), University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2004

Research Areas
Signal Transduction
Pharmacology of Cell and Organ Systems
Redox Pharmacology
Structural Pharmacology
Photo of Sruti Shiva, PhD

Dr. Shiva’s lab focuses on the mechanisms by which reactive nitrogen species (particularly nitrite and nitric oxide) regulate mitochondrial function during hypoxia and ischemia, the factors that influence this regulation and the implications of this regulation on pathology such as ischemia/ reperfusion injury.

Active projects in her lab include:

The role of heme proteins in regulating nitrite-dependent modulation of mitochondrial respiration.  The anion nitrite (NO2-) is an endocrine storage form of nitric oxide (NO) in blood and tissues that can be reduced to bioavailable NO by heme proteins in conditions of low oxygen.  In blood, the reduction of nitrite by hemoglobin mediates hypoxic vasodilation.   We are interested in understanding how tissue nitrite reductases regulate mitochondrial function.  Specifically, myoglobin, when deoxygenated, can efficiently reduce nitrite to NO and this NO subsequently inhibits mitochondrial respiration by binding to complex IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain.  We are interested in other ways that this interaction between nitrite and myoglobin regulates mitochondrial function as well as characterizing the physiological interplay between mitochondria and myoglobin with nitrite/NO acting as a signaling molecule linking the two.

The regulation of mitochondrial function by nitrite during ischemia/reperfusion.  Low concentrations of nitrite have been shown to mediate cytoprotection in a number of models of ischemia/reperfusion of the brain, liver, heart and kidney.  However, the mechanism of this cytoprotection is not known.  The mitochondria play a central role in the progression of ischemia/reperfusion injury.  Hence, we are interested in how nitrite regulates mitochondrial function during ischemia/reperfusion. 

We have recently demonstrated that nitrite administered to animals before or during ischemia/reperfusion modulates mitochondrial function by S-nitrosating thiols on mitochondrial complex I, which leads to decreased reactive oxygen species generation, less oxidative damage of mitochondrial proteins, and prevention of cytochrome c release.  We think that these modifications of function prevent mitochondrial dysfunction after reperfusion and lead to cytoprotection. 


We are currently using isolated mitochondria, the Langendorff isolated and perfused heart, and in vivo ischemia/reperfusion models to further characterize nitrite-dependent cytoprotection, particularly in relation to other cytoprotective programs, such as ischemic preconditioning.

Mechanisms of nitrite generation and metabolism.  Another focus of the lab is determining the mechanisms by which nitrite is formed and metabolized physiologically.  Conventionally, nitrite is thought to be formed by the oxidation of nitric oxide.  However, in vivo, the reaction of nitric oxide with oxygenated hemoglobin (which produces nitrate) is more kinetically favorable than the reaction with oxygen to produce nitrite.  We have recently identified a role for the multicopper oxidase, ceruloplasmin, as an “NO oxidase” that can compete with the nitric oxide-hemoglobin reaction to oxidize NO to nitrite.  We are currently further characterizing the role of ceruloplasmin in regulating nitrite levels in physiology and pathology, and in plasma and tissue.

Important Publications
Murillo D, C Kamga, L Mo and S Shiva.  Nitrite as a mediator of ischemic preconditioning and cytoprotection.  Nitric Oxide 25:70-80, 2011.
Shiva S, T Rassaf, RP Patel and MT Gladwin.  The detection of the nitrite reductase and NO-generating properties of haemoglobin by mitochondrial inhibition.  Cardiovasc Res 89:566-573, 2011.
Shiva S.  Mitochondria as metabolizers and targets of nitrite.  Nitric Oxide 22:64-74, 2010.
Shiva S, MN Sack, JJ Greer, M Duranski, LA Ringwood, L Burwell, X Wang, PH Macarthur, N Raghavachari, JW Calvert, PS Brookes, DJ Lefer and MT Gladwin.  Nitrite augments tolerance to ischemia/reperfusion injury via the modulation of mitochondrial electron transfer. J Exp Med 204(9):2089-1202, 2007.
Shiva S, Z Huang, R Grubina, LA Ringwood, PH MacArthur, W Xu, VM Darley-Usmar and MT Gladwin.  Deoxymyoglobin is a nitrite reductase that generates NO and regulates mitochondrial function. Circ Res 100(5):654-661, 2007.
Shiva S, X Wang, LA Ringwood, X Xu, S Yuditskaya, V Annavajjhala, H Miyajima, N Hogg, ZL Harris and MT Gladwin.  Ceruloplasmin is a nitric oxide oxidase and nitrite synthase that determines endocrine NO homeostasis.  Nat Chem Bio 2:486-493, 2006.
Shiva S, A Venkatraman, A Wigley, E Ulasova, D Chhieng, SM Bailey and VM Darley-Usmar.  The role of iNOS in alcohol-dependent hepatotoxicity and mitochondrial function.  Hepatology 40(30):565-573, 2004.
Shiva S, JH Crawford, EK Ceaser, T Hilson, PS Brookes, RP Patel and VM Darley-Usmar.  Mechanisms of the interaction of nitroxyl with mitochondia.  Biochem J 379:359-366, 2004.
Shiva S, PS Brookes, RP Patel, PG Anderson and VM Darley-Usmar. Nitric oxide partitioning into mitochondrial membranes and the control of respiration at cytochrome c oxidase.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(13):7212-7217, 2001.

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