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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2006 Feb;231(2):154-65.

eNOS function and dysfunction in the penis.

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Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Urology, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) has an indispensable role in the erectile response. In the penis, eNOS activity and endothelial NO bioavailability are regulated by multiple post-translational molecular mechanisms, such as eNOS phosphorylation, eNOS interaction with regulatory proteins and contractile pathways, and actions of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These mechanisms regulate eNOS-mediated responses under physiologic circumstances and provide various mechanisms whereby endothelial NO availability may be altered in states of vasculogenic erectile dysfunction (ED). In view of the recent advances in the field of eNOS function in the penis and its role in penile erection, the emphasis in this review is placed on the mechanisms regulating eNOS activity and its interaction with the RhoA/Rho-kinase pathway in the physiology of penile erection and the pathophysiology of ED.

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