Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistr, Vol. 25, No. 6, 1999, š . 353

Biogenic Nitric Oxide: Ten Years of the Second Coming , the Prehistory of Discovery of the Arginine-Dependent NO Biosynthesis

A. A. Nedospasov 1

Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, pl. Akademika Kurchatova 46, D-182 Moscow, 123182 Russia

Abstract: This review has been written on the occasion of the decennial anniversary of the discovery of the arginine–oxygenase pathway for nitric oxide (NO) biosynthesis. This was one of the greatest and the most surprising discoveries in modern biochemistry and won the Nobel Prize in 1998. The main steps of early studies are tracked. Many facts had pointed to the existence of biogenic NO long before 1987 but had been disregarded for reasons of psychology: it was hard to accept that NO is an assignable metabolite, since too many “inviolable” views had to be revised in this case.

Key words: arginine, citrulline, EDRF, glyceryl trinitrate, guanylyl cyclase, nitrate, nitrite, nitric oxide (NO)