Research report 2011 - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion

How small vampires dilute human blood

Knipp, Markus
Biophysikalische Chemie (Lubitz)
Nitrophorins comprise a unique class of metal containing proteins originating from blood sucking bugs. On bite they transport the gaseous signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) into the tissue of a host. Application of various spectroscopic techniques reveals the molecular mechanisms that lead to specific NO delivery. Recent investigations demonstrate that the NO coordinating iron center is also able to produce NO from nitrite. Because NO causes the opening of blood vessels (vasodilatation), the understanding of these native NO transporting systems is of major pharmacological interest.

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