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Role Of Enos In Atherosclerosis

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Figure 3. Roles of eNOS in atherosclerosis. The structure of NOS is a homodimer with each monomer including an oxygenase dominion and a reductase dominion. The oxygenase dominion comprises the binding locates for heme, L-arginine (the substrate) and the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), an important determining factor of eNOS activity. In vascular disease states such as diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia, superoxide generation by oxidases is significantly increased. Peroxynitrite and other reactive oxygen species oxidize BH4, through the BH3 radical to BH2 and biopterin, which decreases the bioavailability of BH4 and stimulates eNOS uncoupling. This form of eNOS no longer produces NO, but instead produces superoxide.
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