Possible implications of the induction of human heme oxygenase-1 by nitric oxide donors

Kazuhiro Takahashi, Eishi Hara, Kazuhiro Ogawa, Dai Kimura, Hiroyoshi Fujita, Shigeki Shibahara

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43 Citations (Scopus)


To explore the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) in the induction of heme oxygenase-1, an essential enzyme in heme catabolism, we studied the effects of NO donors on the expression of heme oxygenase-1 mRNA in HeLa human cervical cancer cells. Treatment with each of three NO donors, sodium nitroprusside, 3-morpholinosydnonimine, and S-nitroso-L-glutathione, caused noticeable increases in the expression levels of heme oxygenase-1 mRNA, but not heme oxygenase-1 mRNA. On the other hand, nitrite or 8-bromo cGMP exerted no noticeable effect on the levels of heme oxygenase-1 mRNA. We showed that sodium nitroprusside also increased the levels of heme oxygenase-1 protein. The sodium nitroprusside-mediated increase in heme oxygenase-1 mRNA levels was abolished by treatment with actinomycin D. The expression levels of heme oxygenase-1 mRNA were also increased by NO donors in human melanoma and neuroblastoma cell lines. Thus, the observed induction of heme oxygenase-1 may represent an important response to NO or NO-related oxidative stress. The half lives of heme oxygenase-1 and heme oxygenase-2 mRNAs were estimated to be about 3.2 h and more than 5 h, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1168
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jun


  • Carbon monoxide
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitroprusside
  • Stress protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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