Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase by cobalamins and cobinamides

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Cobalamins are important cofactors for methionine synthase and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Certain corrins also bind nitric oxide (NO), quenching its bioactivity. To determine if corrins would inhibit NO synthase (NOS), we measured their effects on -l-[14C]arginine-to-l-[14C]citrulline conversion by NOS1, NOS2, and NOS3. Hydroxocobalamin (OH-Cbl), cobinamide, and dicyanocobinamide (CN2-Cbi) potently inhibited all isoforms, whereas cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin had much less effect. OH-Cbl and CN2-Cbi prevented binding of the oxygen analog carbon monoxide (CO) to the reduced NOS1 and NOS2 heme active site. CN2-Cbi did not react directly with NO or CO. Spectral perturbation analysis showed that CN2-Cbi interacted directly with the purified NOS1 oxygenase domain. NOS inhibition by corrins was rapid and not reversed by dialysis with l-arginine or tetrahydrobiopterin. Molecular modeling indicated that corrins could access the unusually large heme- and substrate-binding pocket of NOS. Best fits were obtained in the “base-off” conformation of the lower axial dimethylbenzimidazole ligand. CN2-Cbi inhibited interferon-γ-activated Raw264.7 mouse macrophage NO production. We show for the first time that certain corrins directly inhibit NOS, suggesting that these agents (or their derivatives) may have pharmacological utility. Endogenous cobalamins and cobinamides might play important roles in regulating NOS activity under normal and pathological conditions.

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