Nitric oxide signalling and neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the heart under stress

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Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) is an imperative regulator of the cardiovascular system and is a critical mechanism in preventing the pathogenesis and progression of the diseased heart. The scenario of bioavailable NO in the myocardium is complex: 1) NO is derived from both endogenous NO synthases (endothelial, neuronal, and/or inducible NOSs [eNOS, nNOS, and/or iNOS]) and exogenous sources (entero-salivary NO pathway) and the amount of NO from exogenous sources varies significantly; 2) NOSs are located at discrete compartments of cardiac myocytes and are regulated by distinctive mechanisms under stress; 3) NO regulates diverse target proteins through different modes of post-transcriptional modification (soluble guanylate cyclase [sGC]/cyclic guanosine monophosphate [cGMP]/protein kinase G [PKG]-dependent phosphorylation, S-nitrosylation, and transnitrosylation); 4) the downstream effectors of NO are multidimensional and vary from ion channels in the plasma membrane to signalling proteins and enzymes in the mitochondria, cytosol, nucleus, and myofilament; 5) NOS produces several radicals in addition to NO (e.g. superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, peroxynitrite, and different NO-related derivatives) and triggers redox-dependent responses. However, nNOS inhibits cardiac oxidases to reduce the sources of oxidative stress in diseased hearts. Recent consensus indicates the importance of nNOS protein in cardiac protection under pathological stress. In addition, a dietary regime with high nitrate intake from fruit and vegetables together with unsaturated fatty acids is strongly associated with reduced cardiovascular events. Collectively, NO-dependent mechanisms in healthy and diseased hearts are better understood and shed light on the therapeutic prospects for NO and NOSs in clinical applications for fatal human heart diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number742
JournalF1000Research
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Cardiac protection
  • Heart disease
  • Neuronal nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide

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