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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reduction of nitric oxide synthase 2 expression by distamycin A improves survival from endotoxemia.

NO synthase 2 (NOS2) plays an important role in endotoxemia through overproduction of NO. Distamycin A (Dist A) belongs to a class of drugs termed minor-groove DNA binders, which can inhibit transcription factor binding to AT-rich regions of DNA. We and others have previously shown that AT-rich regions of DNA surrounding transcription factor binding sites in the NOS2 promoter are critical for NOS2 induction by inflammatory stimuli in vitro. Therefore, we hypothesized that Dist A would attenuate NOS2 up-regulation in vivo during endotoxemia and improve animal survival. C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice treated with Dist A and LPS (endotoxin) showed significantly improved survival compared with animals treated with LPS alone. In contrast, LPS-treated C57BL/6 NOS2-deficient (NOS2-/-) mice did not benefit from the protective effect of Dist A on mortality from endotoxemia. Treatment with Dist A resulted in protection from hypotension in LPS-treated WT mice, but not in NOS2-/- mice. Furthermore, LPS-induced NOS2 expression was attenuated in vivo (WT murine tissues) and in vitro (primary peritoneal and RAW 264.7 murine macrophages) with addition of Dist A. Dist A selectively decreased IFN regulatory factor-1 DNA binding in the enhancer region of the NOS2 promoter, and this IFN regulatory factor-1 site is critical for the effect of Dist A in attenuating LPS induction of NOS2. Our data point to a novel approach in modulating NOS2 expression in vivo during endotoxemia and suggest the potential for alternative treatment approaches for critical illness.[1]


  1. Reduction of nitric oxide synthase 2 expression by distamycin A improves survival from endotoxemia. Baron, R.M., Carvajal, I.M., Liu, X., Okabe, R.O., Fredenburgh, L.E., Macias, A.A., Chen, Y.H., Ejima, K., Layne, M.D., Perrella, M.A. J. Immunol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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