Regulation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase by histone, protamine, and myelin basic protein

Jingru Hu, Jennifer Fridlund, Esam E El-Fakahany

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9 Scopus citations


We examined the effects of endogenous basic proteins rich in the amino acid L-arginine on neuronal NO synthase activity by monitoring cyclic GMP formation in intact neuron-like neuroblastoma N1E-115 cells. Histone, protamine and myelin basic protein significantly stimulated cyclic GMP formation, both in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. These effects were blocked by hemoglobin and NO synthase inhibitors. Removal of the extracellular/intracellular Ca2+ gradient by a Ca2+ chelator completely abolished the cyclic GMP responses elicited by histone and protamine, suggesting that influex of extracellular Ca2+ might be involved in their activation of NO synthase. The effects of myelin basic protein on cyclic GMP formation, however, appeared to be due to Ca2+ release from intracellular stores. In cytosolic preparations of rat cerebellum, these basic proteins inhibited the metabolism of L-arginine into L-citrulline by NO synthase. We conclude from our findings that endogenous basic proteins might be involved in the regulation of neuronal NO synthase activity. Their effects on the enzyme could be either stimulatory or inhibitory, depending on whether the basic proteins exert their effects extracellularly or intracellularly, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • Basic proteins
  • cyclic GMP
  • histone
  • myelin basic protein
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • protamine


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