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Eur J Pharmacol. 2004 Oct 1;500(1-3):255-66.

Regulation of the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase.

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Department of Pharmacology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Obere Zahlbacher Strasse 67, D-55101 Mainz, Germany.


The role of nitric oxide (NO) generated by the inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is very complex. Induction of iNOS expression and hence NO production has been described to have beneficial antiviral, antiparasital, microbicidal, immunomodulatory, and antitumoral effects. However, induced at the wrong place or at the wrong time, iNOS has detrimental consequences and seems to be involved in the pathophysiology of different human diseases. The pathways regulating iNOS expression seem to vary in different cells or different species. In general, activation of the transcription factors nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-1alpha and thereby activation of the iNOS promoter seems to be an essential step in the regulation of iNOS expression in most cells. Also, post-transcriptional mechanisms are critically involved in the regulation of iNOS expression.

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