Dual Role of Nitric Oxide in Cancer Biology

  • Shehla Pervin
  • Rajan Singh
  • Suvajit Sen
  • Gautam Chaudhuri
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)


Extensive research work performed over the past decades has focused on understanding the role of nitric oxide (NO) in both promoting and preventing cancer. The precise role of NO in tumor biology has been the cause of intense debate. Experimental evidences available in the literature highlight contrasting pro- and anti-tumor effects of NO. It is now becoming clear that concentration- and time-dependent regulation of NO leads to tumor growth, cytostasis, or cell death. It is known that NO participates in various signaling pathways including Ras, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), Akt, cyclin D1/retinoblastoma (Rb) as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) that are crucial for tumor cells. NO mediated post-translational modification of key proteins including S-nitrosylation of caspases, tyrosine nitration of mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), or cytochrome c. Various attempts toward developing NO-based cancer therapy are still in primitive stages, and a clear understanding of the levels of NOS expression, its timing, and the concentrations of NO produced in the tumor microenvironment is key to the development of novel strategies for tumor treatment and prevention.


Nitric oxide Cancer Mammalian target of rapamycin MAP kinase phosphatase-1 Nω-Hydroxy-l-arginine 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shehla Pervin
    • 1
  • Rajan Singh
    • 2
    • 3
  • Suvajit Sen
    • 4
  • Gautam Chaudhuri
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of EndocrinologyCharles Drew School of Medicine and ScienceLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Internal MedicineCharles Drew University of Medicine and ScienceLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterLos AngelesUSA

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