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Nature. 1991 Jun 27;351(6329):714-8.

Cloned and expressed nitric oxide synthase structurally resembles cytochrome P-450 reductase.

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


Nitric oxide is a messenger molecule, mediating the effect of endothelium-derived relaxing factor in blood vessels and the cytotoxic actions of macrophages, and playing a part in neuronal communication in the brain. Cloning of a complementary DNA for brain nitric oxide synthase reveals recognition sites for NADPH, FAD, flavin mononucleotide and calmodulin as well as phosphorylation sites, indicating that the synthase is regulated by many different factors. The only known mammalian enzyme with close homology is cytochrome P-450 reductase.

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