Author(s): Choi BM, Pae HO, Jang SI, Kim YM, Chung HT
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Abstract Nitric oxide (NO), synthesized from L-arginine by NO synthases, is a small, lipophilic, diffusible, highly reactive molecule with dichotomous regulatory roles in many biological events under physiological and pathological conditions. NO can promote apoptosis (pro-apoptosis) in some cells, whereas it inhibits apoptosis (anti-apoptosis) in other cells. This complexity is a consequence of the rate of NO production and the interaction with biological molecules such as metal ion, thiol, protein tyrosine, and reactive oxygen species. Long-lasting overproduction of NO acts as a pro-apoptotic modulator, activating caspase family proteases through the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into cytosol, up-regulation of the p53 expression, and alterations in the expression of apoptosis-associated proteins, including the Bcl-2 family. However, low or physiological concentrations of NO prevent cells from apoptosis that is induced by the trophic factor withdrawal, Fas, TNFalpha/ActD, and LPS. The anti-apoptotic mechanism is understood on the basis of gene transcription of protective proteins. These include: heat shock protein, hemeoxygenase, or cyclooxygenase-2 and direct inhibition of the apoptotic executive effectors caspase family protease by S-nitrosylation of the cysteine thiol group in their catalytic site in a cell specific way. Our current understanding of the mechanisms by which NO exerts both pro- and anti-apototic action is discussed in this review article.
This article was published in J Biochem Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology