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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Aug 1;89(15):6711-5.

Cloned and expressed macrophage nitric oxide synthase contrasts with the brain enzyme.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a messenger molecule of macrophages, endothelial cells in blood vessels, and neurons. A neuronal form of NO synthase (NOS) has been previously cloned. We now report the molecular cloning of macrophage NOS. The macrophage enzyme displays 50% sequence identity to the neuronal enzyme. Like neuronal NOS, macrophage NOS has recognition sites for FAD, FMN, and NADPH and also has a consensus calmodulin binding site. Macrophage NOS mRNA is strikingly inducible; it is absent in quiescent macrophages or spleen but is prominent 2-6 hr after endotoxin treatment.

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