IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.52586/4926
Open Access Review
Regulation of NOS expression in vascular diseases
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1 Department of Pharmacology, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany
*Correspondence:;; (Andrea Pautz)
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(5), 85–101;
Submitted: 14 October 2020 | Accepted: 15 February 2021 | Published: 30 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innate immune mechanisms in thrombosis and vascular biology)
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Nitric oxide synthases (NOS) are the major sources of nitric oxide (NO), a small bioactive molecule involved in the regulation of many cellular processes. One of the most prominent functions of NO is regulation of vasodilatation and thereby control of blood pressure. Most important for vascular tone is NOS3. Endothelial NOS3-generated NO diffuses into the vascular smooth muscle cells, activates the soluble guanylate cyclase resulting in enhanced cGMP concentrations and smooth muscle cell relaxation. However, more and more evidence exist that also NOS1 and NOS2 contribute to vascular function. We summarize the current knowledge about the regulation of NOS expression in the vasculature by transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms, in regard to inflammation and innate immune pathways.

Nitric oxide
Gene regulation
Vascular inflammation
Innate immunity
Fig. 1.
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