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Nitric Oxide Regulation of Mitochondrial Processes: Commonality in Medical Disorders

George B. Stefano, Richard M. Kream

(Department of Research, MitoGenetics Research Institute, Farmingdale, NY, USA)

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:402-407

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.894289

Published: 2015-07-16


ABSTRACT: The vital status of diverse classes of eukaryotic mitochondria is reflected by the high degree of evolutionary modification functionally linked to ongoing multifaceted organelle development. From this teleological perspective, a logistical enhancement of eukaryotic cellular energy requirements indicates a convergence of metabolic processes within the mitochondrial matrix for optimal synthesis of ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate and necessitates an evolutionarily driven retrofit of the primordial endosymbiont bacterial plasma membrane into the inner mitochondrial membrane.
The biochemical complexity of eukaryotic inner membrane electron transport complexes linked to temporally-defined, state-dependent, fluctuations in mitochondrial oxygen utilization is capable of generating deleterious reactive oxygen species. Within this functional context, an extensive neurochemical literature supports the role of the free radical gas nitric oxide (NO) as a key signaling molecule involved in the regulation of multiple aspects of mitochondrial respiration/oxidative phosphorylation. Importantly, the unique chemical properties of NO underlie its rapid metabolism in vivo within a mechanistic spectrum of small oxidative molecules, free and protein-bound thiol adducts, and reversible binding to ferrous heme iron centers. Recent compelling work has identified a medically relevant dual regulation pathway for mitochondrial NO expression mediated by traditionally characterized NO synthases (NOS) and by enzymatic reduction of available cellular nitrite pools by a diverse class of cytosolic and mitochondrial nitrite reductases. Accordingly, our short review presents selected medically-based discussion topics relating to multi-faceted NO regulation of mitochondrial functions in human health and disease states.

Keywords: Aging, Mitochondria, Morphine, Nitric Oxide, Reactive Oxygen Species, Transplantation



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