Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) participate in a variety of physiologic and pathologic processes in the nervous system. nNOS was originally felt to be a constitutively expressed enzyme, but recent observations suggest that its levels are dynamically controlled in response to neuronal development, plasticity and injury. nNOS expression is regulated through alternative promoter usage through alternative mRNA splicing and it is likely that this plays an important role in the inducibility of gene expression in response to extracellular stimuli. Emerging data also suggests that NO may be the key mediator linking activity to gene expression and long- lasting neuronal responses through NO activating p21(Ras) through redox- sensitive modulation.
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