FAD and GSH participate in macrophage synthesis of nitric oxide Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Androgen Receptor Antagonists
  • Bone Neoplasms
  • Castration
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Thiohydantoins


  • Following partial purification of macrophage nitric oxide (NO) synthase, enzyme activity requires L-arginine, NADPH, and constitutive cytosolic factors, one of which is tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) (Kwon, N.S., Nathan, C.F. and Stuehr, D.J. [1989] J. Biol. Chem. 264, 20496). Here we identify FAD and GSH as two additional cofactors needed for full enzyme activity. With all defined cytosolic cofactors in excess, NO synthesis was linear over 3 h and was approximately 50% dependent on exogenous FAD, approximately 50% on glutathione (GSH), 84% on tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), 95% on NADPH, and 98% on L-arginine. The concentrations of added FAD, GSH, and BH4 required for optimal activity were consistent with their levels in macrophage cytosol. Kinetic studies showed that GSH (or DTT) had little or no effect on the rate of NO generation over the first 20-30 min of the reaction, but prevented a subsequent dropoff in rate. This effect was distinct from thiol participation in BH4 regeneration. In contrast, exogenous FAD doubled the rate of NO synthesis throughout the assay period, consistent with a cofactor role. The role of NADPH was not to regenerate BH4, furnish NADP+, nor form reactive oxygen intermediates. These findings demonstrate NO synthesis by a partially purified enzyme in an otherwise defined system, and suggest that an NADPH-utilizing FAD flavoprotein may participate in the reaction.

publication date

  • April 30, 1990



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0006-291X(90)92357-6

PubMed ID

  • 1692211

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 558

end page

  • 65


  • 168


  • 2