Requirement of argininosuccinate lyase for systemic nitric oxide production

Ayelet Erez, Sandesh C.S. Nagamani, Oleg A. Shchelochkov, Muralidhar H. Premkumar, Philippe M. Campeau, Yuqing Chen, Harsha K. Garg, Li Li, Asad Mian, Terry K. Bertin, Jennifer O. Black, Heng Zeng, Yaoping Tang, Anilkumar K. Reddy, Marshall Summar, William E. O'Brien, David G. Harrison, William E. Mitch, Juan C. Marini, Judy L. AschnerNathan S. Bryan, Brendan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide (NO) is crucial in diverse physiological and pathological processes. We show that a hypomorphic mouse model of argininosuccinate lyase (encoded by Asl) deficiency has a distinct phenotype of multiorgan dysfunction and NO deficiency. Loss of Asl in both humans and mice leads to reduced NO synthesis, owing to both decreased endogenous arginine synthesis and an impaired ability to use extracellular arginine for NO production. Administration of nitrite, which can be converted into NO in vivo, rescued the manifestations of NO deficiency in hypomorphic Asl mice, and a nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-independent NO donor restored NO-dependent vascular reactivity in humans with ASL deficiency. Mechanistic studies showed that ASL has a structural function in addition to its catalytic activity, by which it contributes to the formation of a multiprotein complex required for NO production. Our data demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for ASL in NOS function and NO homeostasis. Hence, ASL may serve as a target for manipulating NO production in experimental models, as well as for the treatment of NO-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1626
Number of pages8
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


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