Author(s): Dias RG, Negro CE, Krieger MH
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Abstract Nitric oxide (NO), primarily identified as an endothelium-derived relaxing factor, is a free radical that signals different biological processes. The identification of NO synthase (NOS) isoforms and the subsequent characterization of the mechanisms of cell activation of the enzymes permitted the partial understanding of both the physiological interactions and of the mechanisms of the diseases in which NO is involved. Mainly expressed in the vascular endothelium, the endothelial NOS isoform (eNOS) plays an important role in the regulation of vascular reactivity and in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this review is to contextualize the reader about the eNOS structure and its mechanisms of cell activation. In view of the advances in molecular biology, we will also address the known mechanisms of gene expression regulation and the role of variants on the genetic code of eNOS associated with cardiovascular phenotypes. Although the importance of NO as an atheroprotective molecule is recognized, our focus will be the review of the literature on NO and its participation in the modulation of the muscle vasodilatation phenotype.
This article was published in Arq Bras Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine