NO produced by eNOS plays important roles in the cardiovascular system. Alterations in eNOS activity and expression occur in various cardiovascular disorders and eNOS constitutes a therapeutic target. In addition to posttranslational modifications of eNOS that affect eNOS activity, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of eNOS expression also controls eNOS-derived NO production. Bradykinin is an important determinant of vascular function and participates in the regulation of eNOS activity and expression. A number of currently used drugs or investigational molecules targeting specific ion channels, enzymes or receptors, including dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, statins, AT1 receptor blockers and angiotensin-(1-7), increase eNOS expression and activity. In this context, activation of bradykinin B2 receptors appears to be a common step for these drugs to promote eNOS expression, which certainly contributes to their therapeutic actions.
Keywords: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-(1-7), AT1 receptor blockers, bradykinin, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, statins, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, nitric oxide, transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation.