Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), along with inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), catalyze the generation of nitric oxide and L-citrulline from L-arginine and molecular oxygen. It is activated at concentrations of calcium greater than 100 nM and requires co-factors of tetrahydrobiopterin, flavin adenine dinucleotide, flavin mononucleotide and NADPH for catalytic activity.
Transcriptional regulation of nNOS is very complex and the nNOS gene produces multiple mRNA transcripts using alternate promoters, alternative splicing, cassette insertions/deletions, and varied sites for 3'-UTR cleavage and polyadenylation. Some of these alterations lead to variation in amino acid sequence, translating into nNOS isoforms with altered structural and functional properties.
nNOS has been implicated in a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes, including neurotransmission, neurotoxicity, skeletal muscle contraction, sexual function, body fluid homeostasis and atherosclerosis. Consistent with such wide involvement, nNOS is expressed in numerous tissues. The human gene encoding nNOS is localized to chromosome 12q14.
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Literature for nNOS
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