Author(s): Marilena G
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Abstract Heme oxygenase the rate-limiting step in the degradation of heme to bilirubin, generates carbon monoxide. This gaseous molecule plays important roles in neuronal signaling and modulation of vascular tone. Additionally, carbon monoxide is involved in some pathological conditions (e.g., ischemia, endotoxic shock, excitotoxicity) as a protective or toxic factor. Bilirubin, another heme metabolite, exhibits intriguing biological activities as an antioxidant, an antimutagen, and an anti-complement agent. Vital functions and the dual nature displayed by these two heme metabolites are discussed.
This article was published in Biochem Mol Med
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics