Although nitric oxide (NO) has cytotoxic activity against certain tumor cell lines, some human tumor cell lines can themselves produce NO by expressing the inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS). As rates of cellular NO synthesis play a major role in determining whether NO has cytotoxic or cytoprotective effects at anatomic sites of NO production, identification of cellular processes which regulate rates of NO synthesis by iNOS is important for understanding the role of NO in tumor cell biology. This study demonstrates that argininosuccinate synthetase and GTP-cyclohydrolase-I, which catalyze rate-limiting steps in the synthesis of iNOS substrate (arginine) and cofactor (tetrahydrobiopterin), respectively, are coinduced with iNOS expression in two human tumor cell lines. These results indicate that coinduction of these supporting metabolic pathways helps to maximize cellular NO synthesis by iNOS in human tumor cells, suggesting that these pathways might be useful targets for pharmacologic intervention in NO-producing human tumor cells.
- Human tumor
- Nitric oxide