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COBALAMIN INTERACTION WITH NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASES

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Carmen Wheatley
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The up-regulation of transcobalamins [hitherto posited as indicating a central need for cobalamin (Cbl) in inflammation], whose expression, like inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), is Sp1- and interferondependent, together with increased intracellular formation of glutathionylcobalamin (GSCbl), adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), methylcobalamin (MeCbl), may be essential for the timely promotion and later selective inhibition of iNOS and concordant regulation of endothelial and neuronal NOS (eNOS/nNOS.) Cbl may ensure controlled high output of nitric oxide (NO) and its safe deployment, because: (1) Cbl is ultimately responsible for the synthesis or availability of the NOS substrates and cofactors heme, arginine, BH(4) flavin adenine dinucleotide/flavin mononucleotide (FAD/FMN) and NADPH, via the far-reaching effects of the two Cbl coenzymes, methionine synthase (MS) and methylmalonyl CoA mutase (MCoAM) in, or on, the folate, glutathione, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) and urea cycles, oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. Deficiency of any of theNOS substrates and cofactors results in 'uncoupled' NOS reactions, decreasedNO production and increased or excessive O(2) (-), H(2)O(2), ONOO(-) and other reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitric oxide species (RNIS) leading to pathology. (2) Cbl is also the overlooked ultimate determinant of positive glutathione status, which favours the formation of more benign NO species, s-nitrosothiols, the predominant form in which NO is safely deployed. Cbl status may consequently act as a 'back-up disc' that ensures the active status of antioxidant systems, as well as reversing and modulating the effects of nitrosylation in cell signal transduction.New evidence shows that GSCbl can significantly promote iNOS/ eNOS NO synthesis in the early stages of inflammation, thus lowering high levels of tumour necrosis factor-a that normally result in pathology, while existing evidence shows that in extreme nitrosative and oxidative stress, GSCbl can regenerate the activity of enzymes important for eventual resolution, such as glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase, which ensures NADPH supply, lactate dehydrogenase, and more; with human clinical case studies of OHCbl for cyanide poisoning, suggesting Cbl may regenerate aconitase and cytochrome c oxidase in the TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, Cbl may simultaneously promote a strong inflammatory response and the means to resolve it.
Several mysteries surround the structure and function of the nitric oxide synthases (NOS). The NOS oxygenase domain structure is unusually open with a large area of solvent that could accommodate an unidentified ligand. The exact mechanism of the two-step five-electron monoxygenation of arginine to N(G)-hydroxy-L-arginine, thence to citrulline and nitric oxide (NO), is not clear, particularly as arginine/N(G)-hydroxy-L-arginine is bound at a great distance to the supposed catalytic heme Fe [III], as the anti-stereoisomer. The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel Paper proposed that cobalamin is a primary indirect regulator of the NOS. An additional direct regulatory effect of the 'base-off' dimethylbenzimidazole of glutathionylcobalamin (GSCbl), which may act as a sixth ligand to the heme iron, promote Co-oriented, BH(4)/BH(3) radical catalysed oxidation of L-arginine to NO, and possibly regulate the rate of inducible NOS/NO production by the NOS dimers, is further advanced. The absence of homology between the NOS and methionine synthase/methylmalonyl CoA mutase may enable GSCbl to regulate both sets of enzymes simultaneously by completely separate mechanisms. Thus, cobalamin may exert central control over both pro-and anti-inflammatory systems.