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Current Protein & Peptide Science


ISSN (Print): 1389-2037
ISSN (Online): 1875-5550

Relaxin and Nitric Oxide Signalling

Author(s): M. C. Baccari and D. Bani

Volume 9, Issue 6, 2008

Page: [638 - 645] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/138920308786733921

Price: $65


The peptide hormone relaxin (RLX) has been shown to exert a variety of functions in both reproductive and non-reproductive tissues. The molecular mechanism of RLX on its target cells appears to involve multiple intracellular signalling systems, including the nitric oxide (NO) pathway. NO is an ubiquitous molecule synthesised from L-arginine under the catalytic action of different nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms and its altered production has been reported to be involved in several diseases. RLX has been demonstrated to promote NO biosynthesis by up-regulating NOS expression; its influence on the different NOS appears to depend on the cell type studied. In addition to its physiological roles, RLX has been postulated as a potential therapeutic agent in several diseases. In particular, based on its property to promote NO biosynthesis, RLX may be regarded as a therapeutic tool in diseases characterized pathogenically by an impaired NO production. The aim of the present mini-review is to summarize and discuss the pathophysiological actions of RLX, strictly related to its ability to activate the endogenous NO pathway in reproductive and non-reproductive target organs.

Keywords: Relaxin, nitric oxide

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