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Roles of nitric oxide in carcinogenesis. Protumorigenic effects.

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Department of Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lódź, Poland.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a small gaseous molecule involved in many physiological and pathophysiological processes in the human organism. Reports published so far indicate its multiple and not fully understood role in tumor initiation and progression. The paper reviews basic mechanisms of protumorigenic effects of NO: genotoxicity and mutagenicity, the results of the studies on nitric oxide synthases activity and expression in human tumors of different origin, as well as the main mechanisms of NO-mediated processes responsible for tumor progression (tumor cell growth, angiogenesis, invasiveness and metastatic activity). Because the effects of NO in cancer development are not clearly defined after the review of protumorigenic effects, some data, which indicate the antitumorigenic effects of NO are also presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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