Abstract The free radical-mediated damage to proteins results in the modification of amino acid residues, cross-linking of side chains and fragmentation. l-Tyrosine and protein bound tyrosine are prone to attack by various mediators and reactive nitrogen intermediates to form 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT). Activated macrophages produce superoxide (O2·-) and NO, which are converted to peroxynitrite ONO2-. 3-NT formation is also catalyzed by a class of peroxidases utilizing nitrite and hydrogen peroxide as substrates. Evidence supports the formation of 3-NT in vivo in diverse pathologic conditions and 3-NT is thought to be a relatively specific marker of oxidative damage mediated by peroxynitrite. Free/protein-bound tyrosines are attacked by various RNS, including peroxynitrite, to form free/protein-bound 3-NT, which may provide insight into the etiopathogenesis of autoimmune conditions. The formation of nitrotyrosine represents a specific peroxynitrite-mediated protein modification; thus, detection of nitrotyrosine in proteins is considered as a biomarker for endogenous peroxynitrite activity. The peroxynitrite-driven oxidation and nitration of biomolecules may lead to autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus. The subsequent release of altered proteins may enable them to act as antigen-inducing antibodies against self-proteins. Hence, tyrosine nitrated proteins can act as neoantigens and lead to the generation of autoantibodies against self proteins in various autoimmune disorders.