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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Jun 6;305(3):771-5.

Oxygen dependence of mitochondrial nitric oxide synthase activity.

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Laboratory of Free Radical Biology, School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Junín 956, 1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The effect of O(2) concentration on mitochondrial nitric oxide synthase (mtNOS) activity and on O(2)(-) production was determined in rat liver, brain, and kidney submitochondrial membranes. The K(mO(2)) for mtNOS were 40, 73, and 37 microM O(2) and the V(max) were 0.51, 0.49, and 0.42 nmol NO/minmg protein for liver, brain, and kidney mitochondria, respectively. The rates of O(2)(-) production, 0.5-12.8 nmol O(2)(-)/minmg protein, depended on O(2) concentration up to 1.1mM O(2). Intramitochondrial NO, O(2)(-), and ONOO(-) steady-state concentrations were calculated for the physiological level of 20 microM O(2); they were 20-39 nM NO, 0.17-0.33 pM O(2)(-), and 0.6-2.2 nM ONOO(-) for the three organs. These levels establish O(2)/NO ratios of 513-1000 that correspond to physiological inhibitions of cytochrome oxidase by intramitochondrial NO of 16-25%. The production of NO by mtNOS appears as a regulatory process that modulates mitochondrial oxygen uptake and cellular energy production.

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