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J Biol Chem. 2007 Aug 10;282(32):23044-54. Epub 2007 May 22.

Nitric oxide down-regulates caveolin-3 levels through the interaction with myogenin, its transcription factor.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain.


Certain patients suffering from chronic diseases such as AIDS or cancer experience a constant cellular secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha and other pro-inflammatory cytokines that results in a continuous release of nitric oxide (*NO) to the bloodstream. One immediate consequence of the deleterious action of *NO is weight loss and the progressive destruction of muscular mass in a process known as cachexia. We have previously reported that caveolin-3, a specific marker of muscle cells, becomes down-regulated by the action of *NO on muscular myotubes. We describe herein that the changes observed in caveolin-3 levels are due to the alteration of the DNA binding activity of the muscular transcription factor myogenin. In the presence of *NO, the binding of transcription factors from cell nuclear extracts of muscular tissues to the E boxes present in the caveolin-3 promoter become substantially reduced. When we purified recombinant myogenin and treated it with *NO donors, we could detect its S-nitrosylation by three independent methods, suggesting that very likely one of the cysteine residues of the molecule is being modified. Given the role of myogenin as a regulatory protein that determines the level of multiple muscle genes expressed during late myogenesis, our results might represent a novel mode of regulation of muscle development under conditions of nitric oxide-mediated toxicity.

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