Nitric oxide in cellular adaptation and disease

Benjamin N. Gantner*, Katy M. LaFond, Marcelo G. Bonini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide synthases are the major sources of nitric oxide, a critical signaling molecule involved in a wide range of cellular and physiological processes. These enzymes comprise a family of genes that are highly conserved across all eukaryotes. The three family members found in mammals are important for inter- and intra-cellular signaling in tissues that include the nervous system, the vasculature, the gut, skeletal muscle, and the immune system, among others. We summarize major advances in the understanding of biochemical and tissue-specific roles of nitric oxide synthases, with a focus on how these mechanisms enable tissue adaptation and health or dysfunction and disease. We highlight the unique mechanisms and processes of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, or NOS1. This was the first of these enzymes discovered in mammals, and yet much remains to be understood about this highly conserved and complex gene. We provide examples of two areas that will likely be of increasing importance in nitric oxide biology. These include the mechanisms by which these critical enzymes promote adaptation or disease by 1) coordinating communication by diverse cell types within a tissue and 2) directing cellular differentiation/activation decisions processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101550
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Adaptation
  • Intercellular signaling
  • Intracellular signaling
  • Nitic oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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