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Trends Mol Med. 2008 Jul;14(7):314-22. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2008.05.002. Epub 2008 Jun 6.

RBC NOS: regulatory mechanisms and therapeutic aspects.

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Department of Medicine, Medical Clinic I, University Hospital RTWH, Pauwelsstrasse 30, D-52074 Aachen, Germany.


Nitric oxide (NO), one of the most important vascular signaling molecules, is primarily produced by endothelial NO synthase (eNOS). eNOS is tightly regulated by its substrate l-arginine, cofactors and diverse interacting proteins. Interestingly, an NO synthase (NOS) was described within red blood cells (RBC NOS), and it was recently shown to significantly contribute to the intravascular NO pool and to regulate physiologically relevant mechanisms. However, the regulatory mechanisms and clinical implications of RBC NOS are unknown. The aim of this review is to highlight intracellular RBC NOS interactions and the role of RBC NOS in RBC homeostasis. Furthermore, macro- and microvascular diseases affected by RBC-derived NO are discussed.

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