Generation of superoxide by purified brain nitric oxide synthase

S. Pou, W. S. Pou, D. S. Bredt, S. H. Snyder, G. M. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

660 Scopus citations


Brain nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which utilizes NADPH and calcium/calmodulin as cofactors for metabolizing L-arginine to nitric oxide (NO) and L-citrulline, contains recognition sites for the flavins FAD and FMN. Using a spin-trapping technique combined with electron spin resonance spectroscopy, we report that brain NOS generates superoxide O-·2 in a calcium/calmodulin-dependent manner. The 'specific inhibitors' of NOS, N(G)- monomethyl L-arginine (L-NMMA), and N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L- NAME), have different effects on O-·2 generation. For L-NMMA, O-·2 production is unaffected, while for L-NAME, inhibition of this free radical is concentration-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24173-24176
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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