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J Biol Chem. 1995 Jun 9;270(23):14214-9.

Induction and stabilization of I kappa B alpha by nitric oxide mediates inhibition of NF-kappa B.

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Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


To determine the mechanism(s) by which the endogenous mediator nitric oxide (NO) inhibits the activation of transcription factor NF-kappa B, we stimulated human vascular endothelial cells with tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the presence of two NO donors, sodium nitroprusside and S-nitrosoglutathione. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that both NO donors inhibited NF-kappa B activation by tumor necrosis factor-alpha. This effect was not mediated by guanylyl cyclase activation since the cGMP analogue 8-bromo-cGMP had no similar effect. Inhibition of endogenous constitutive NO production by L-N-monomethylarginine, however, activated NF-kappa B, suggesting tonic inhibition of NF-kappa B under basal conditions. NO had little or no effects on other nuclear binding proteins such as AP-1 and GATA. Immunoprecipitation studies showed that NO stabilized the NF-kappa B inhibitor, I kappa B alpha, by preventing its degradation from NF-kappa B. NO also increased the mRNA expression of I kappa B alpha, but not NF-kappa B subunits, p65 or p50, and transfection experiments with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene linked to the I kappa B alpha promoter suggested transcriptional induction of I kappa B alpha by NO. We propose that the induction and stabilization of I kappa B alpha by NO are important mechanisms by which NO inhibits NF-kappa B and attenuate atherogenesis.

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