The exact mechanisms regulating conformational changes in the platelet-specific integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) are not fully understood. However, a role exists for thiol/disulfide exchange in integrin conformational changes leading to altered disulfide bonding patterns, via its endogenous thiol isomerase activity. Nitric oxide (NO) accelerates this intrinsic enzymatic activity and, in doing so, reverses the activational state of the integrin on the platelet surface toward a more unactivated one. We propose that it is an S-nitrosylation-induced '' shuffling '' of thiol/disulfide exchange that regulates this reversal of the activated state of the integrin. In this study, we use Raman spectroscopy to explore S-nitrosylation of purified alpha(IIb)beta(3). Using S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) as a model system, we identify Raman markers which show a direct interaction between NO and the thiol groups of the integrin and reveal many of the structural changes that occur in alpha(IIb)beta(3) in the course of not only its activation but also its deactivation. Key conformational changes are detected within the integrin when treated with manganese (Mn2+), occurring mainly in the cysteine and disulfide regions of the protein, confirming the importance of thiol/disulfide exchange in integrin activation. These changes are subsequently shown to be reversed in the presence of NO.