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Pharmacogenomics. 2007 Dec;8(12):1723-34.

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene: prospects for treatment of heart disease.

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  • 1The Ohio State University, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Department of Medicine, 235 DHLRI, 473 W 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1252, USA.


Nitric oxide functions as a signaling molecule with a well-established role in vascular homeostasis. It is synthesized from the oxidation of L-arginine by the enzyme, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). The eNOS gene has a number of polymorphic sites, including SNPs, dinucleotide repeats and variable number tandem repeat sequences, and the opportunity exists to investigate polymorphic functional correlates as well as disease-specific associations, especially in cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, and its most severe consequence, myocardial infarction. A number of clinical and functional correlative studies involving eNOS polymorphisms have been reported and are presented. The promise and complexity of pharmacogenetics is illustrated using eNOS as an example because of its relationship with cardiovascular biology and pathology. In this review, we will discuss the impact of nitric oxide, eNOS, genetic regulation, clinical investigation and, ultimately, prospects for treatment of heart disease.

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