The action of L-arginine is mainly dependent on its end-product, nitric oxide (NO). The L-arginine/NO pathway has been confirmed to play an important role in tumor development. Recent findings indicate that NO derived from L-arginine could influence angiogenesis factors, vascular permeability, perivascular-cell recruitment and vessel remodeling and maturation. Additionally, the Larginine/ NO pathway could activate a broad array of genes that are functionally involved in proliferation, metastasis and apoptosis. Interestingly, this pathway plays roles in both tumorigensis and tumor killing. The role of the L-arginine/NO pathway in tumor therapy has been well-studied. Members of this pathway have been reported to be promising therapeutic molecules in tumor therapy. This review article summarizes research data on the roles of the L-arginine/NO pathway in cancer biology and cancer therapy.
Keywords: L-arginine, nitric oxide, nitric oxide synthase, tumor, cell apoptosis, cell proliferation, metastasis, cancer therapy
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