Katrina M Miranda

Katrina M Miranda

Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry-Sci
Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-3655

Work Summary

Work Summary

We seek to produce new drugs that harness molecules produced during the natural immune response in order to treat cancer and pain. Such compounds may also provide new treatments for heart failure and alcoholism.

Research Interest

Katrina Miranda, PhD, claims nitric oxide (NO), which is synthesized in the body via enzymatic oxidation of L-arginine, is critical to numerous physiological functions, but also can contribute to the severity of diseases such as cancer or pathophysiological conditions such as stroke. This diversity in the responses to NO biosynthesis is a reflection of the diverse chemistry of NO. For instance, NO can alter the function of enzymes by binding to metal centers. This type of interaction could result in outcomes as disparate as control of blood pressure or death of an invading bacterium. NO can also be readily converted to higher nitrogen oxides such as N2O3 or ONOOH, which have very different chemical and biological properties. The ultimate result will depend upon numerous factors, particularly the location and concentration of NO produced. Therefore, site-specific modulation of NO concentration offers intriguing therapeutic possibilities for an ever expanding list of diseases, including cancer, heart failure and stroke. As a whole, Dr. Miranda is interested in elucidating the fundamental molecular redox chemistry of NO and in developing compounds to deliver or scavenge NO and other nitrogen oxides. These projects are designed to answer questions of potential medical importance through a multi-disciplinary approach, including analytical, synthetic, inorganic and biochemical techniques.The project categories include five major disciplines. First, she will work on the development and utilization of analytical techniques for detection and measurement of NO and other nitrogen oxides as well as the resultant chemistry of these species. Second, she will synthesize potential donors or scavengers of NO and other nitrogen oxides. Third, it’s necessary to describe chemical characterization of these compounds (spectroscopic features, kinetics, mechanisms and profiles of nitrogen oxide release, etc.). Fourth, Dr. Miranda will try to describe the biological characterization of these compounds (assay of effects on biological compounds, mechanisms and pathways, in vitro determination of potential for therapeutic utility, etc.). Fifth, she will identify of potential targets, such as enzymes, for treatment of disease through exposure to nitrogen oxide donors. Keywords: cancer treatment, pain treatment


Boitano, S., Omsland, A., Miranda, K. M., Friedman, R. L., & Boitano, S. A. (2008). Bordetella bronchiseptica responses to physiological reactive nitrogen and oxygen stresses. FEMS microbiology letters, 284(1).
BIO5 Collaborators
Scott A Boitano, Katrina M Miranda

Bordetella bronchiseptica can establish prolonged airway infection consistent with a highly developed ability to evade mammalian host immune responses. Upon initial interaction with the host upper respiratory tract mucosa, B. bronchiseptica are subjected to antimicrobial reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), effector molecules of the innate immune system. However, the responses of B. bronchiseptica to redox species at physiologically relevant concentrations (nM-microM) have not been investigated. Using predicted physiological concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on low numbers of CFU of B. bronchiseptica, all redox active species displayed dose-dependent antimicrobial activity. Susceptibility to individual redox active species was significantly increased upon introduction of a second species at subantimicrobial concentrations. An increased bacteriostatic activity of NO was observed relative to H2O2. The understanding of Bordetella responses to physiologically relevant levels of exogenous RNS and ROS will aid in defining the role of endogenous production of these molecules in host innate immunity against Bordetella and other respiratory pathogens.

Heinrich, T. A., S., R., Miranda, K. M., Switzer, C. H., Wink, D. A., & Fukuto, J. M. (2013). Biological nitric oxide signalling: Chemistry and terminology. British Journal of Pharmacology, 169(7), 1417-1429.

PMID: 23617570;PMCID: PMC3724101;Abstract:

Biological nitrogen oxide signalling and stress is an area of extreme clinical, pharmacological, toxicological, biochemical and chemical research interest. The utility of nitric oxide and derived species as signalling agents is due to their novel and vast chemical interactions with a variety of biological targets. Herein, the chemistry associated with the interaction of the biologically relevant nitrogen oxide species with fundamental biochemical targets is discussed. Specifically, the chemical interactions of nitrogen oxides with nucleophiles (e.g. thiols), metals (e.g. hemeproteins) and paramagnetic species (e.g. dioxygen and superoxide) are addressed. Importantly, the terms associated with the mechanisms by which NO (and derived species) react with their respective biological targets have been defined by numerous past chemical studies. Thus, in order to assist researchers in referring to chemical processes associated with nitrogen oxide biology, the vernacular associated with these chemical interactions is addressed. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

Donzelli, S., Espey, M. G., Flores-Santana, W., Switzer, C. H., Yeh, G. C., Huang, J., Stuehr, D. J., King, S. B., Miranda, K. M., & Wink, D. A. (2008). Generation of nitroxyl by heme protein-mediated peroxidation of hydroxylamine but not N-hydroxy-L-arginine. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 45(5), 578-584.

PMID: 18503778;PMCID: PMC2562766;Abstract:

The chemical reactivity, toxicology, and pharmacological responses to nitroxyl (HNO) are often distinctly different from those of nitric oxide (NO). The discovery that HNO donors may have pharmacological utility for treatment of cardiovascular disorders such as heart failure and ischemia reperfusion has led to increased speculation of potential endogenous pathways for HNO biosynthesis. Here, the ability of heme proteins to utilize H2O2 to oxidize hydroxylamine (NH2OH) or N-hydroxy-L-arginine (NOHA) to HNO was examined. Formation of HNO was evaluated with a recently developed selective assay in which the reaction products in the presence of reduced glutathione (GSH) were quantified by HPLC. Release of HNO from the heme pocket was indicated by formation of sulfinamide (GS(O)NH2), while the yields of nitrite and nitrate signified the degree of intramolecular recombination of HNO with the heme. Formation of GS(O)NH2 was observed upon oxidation of NH2OH, whereas NOHA, the primary intermediate in oxidation of L-arginine by NO synthase, was apparently resistant to oxidation by the heme proteins utilized. In the presence of NH2OH, the highest yields of GS(O)NH2 were observed with proteins in which the heme was coordinated to a histidine (horseradish peroxidase, lactoperoxidase, myeloperoxidase, myoglobin, and hemoglobin) in contrast to a tyrosine (catalase) or cysteine (cytochrome P450). That peroxidation of NH2OH by horseradish peroxidase produced free HNO, which was able to affect intracellular targets, was verified by conversion of 4,5-diaminofluorescein to the corresponding fluorophore within intact cells.

Espey, M., Miranda, K., Thomas, D., & Wink, D. (2003). Distinction between nitrosating mechanisms within human cells and aqueous solution. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 276(32), 30085-30091.

The quintessential nitrosating species produced during NO autoxidation is N2O3. Nitrosation of amine, thiol, and hydroxyl residues can modulate critical cell functions. The biological mechanisms that control reactivity of nitrogen oxide species formed during autoxidation of nano- to micromolar levels of NO were examined using the synthetic donor NaEt2NN(O)NO (DEA/NO), hum an tumor cells, and 4,5-diaminofluorescein (DAF). Both the disappearance of NO and formation of nitrosated product from DAF in aerobic aqueous buffer followed second order processes; however, consumption of NO and nitrosation within intact cells were exponential. An optimal ratio of DEA/NO and 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazole-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO) was used to form N2O3 through the intermediacy of NO2. This route was found to be most reflective of the nitrosative mechanism within intact cells and was distinct from the process that occurred during autoxidation of NO in aqueous media. Manipulation of the endogenous scavengers ascorbate and glutathione indicated that the location, affinity, and concentration of these substances were key determinants in dictating nitrosative susceptibility of molecular targets. Taken together, these findings suggest that the functional effects of nitrosation may be organized to occur within discrete domains or compartments. Nitrosative stress may develop when scavengers are depleted and this architecture becomes compromised. Although NO2 was not a component of aqueous NO autoxidation, the results suggest that the intermediacy of this species may be a significant factor in the advent of either nitrosation or oxidation chemistry in biological systems.

Miranda, K., Basudhar, D., Bharadwaj, G., Cheng, R. Y., Jain, S., Shi, S., Heinecke, J. L., Holland, R. J., Ridnour, L. A., Caceres, V. M., Spadari-Bratfisch, R. C., Paolocci, N., Velázquez-Martínez, C. A., Wink, D. A., & Miranda, K. M. (2013). Synthesis and Chemical and Biological Comparison of Nitroxyl- and Nitric Oxide-Releasing Diazeniumdiolate-Based Aspirin Derivatives. Journal of medicinal chemistry.

Structural modifications of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have successfully reduced the side effect of gastrointestinal ulceration without affecting anti-inflammatory activity, but they may increase the risk of myocardial infarction with chronic use. The fact that nitroxyl (HNO) reduces platelet aggregation, preconditions against myocardial infarction, and enhances contractility led us to synthesize a diazeniumdiolate-based HNO-releasing aspirin and to compare it to an NO-releasing analogue. Here, the decomposition mechanisms are described for these compounds. In addition to protection against stomach ulceration, these prodrugs exhibited significantly enhanced cytotoxcity compared to either aspirin or the parent diazeniumdiolate toward nonsmall cell lung carcinoma cells (A549), but they were not appreciably toxic toward endothelial cells (HUVECs). The HNO-NSAID prodrug inhibited cylcooxgenase-2 and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity and triggered significant sarcomere shortening on murine ventricular myocytes compared to control. Together, these anti-inflammatory, antineoplasic, and contractile properties suggest the potential of HNO-NSAIDs in the treatment of inflammation, cancer, or heart failure.