UNIT 10.1 Overview of the Pathway and Functions of Nitric Oxide

  1. James F. Dillman,
  2. Valina L. Dawson,
  3. Ted M. Dawson

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471140856.tx1001s00

Current Protocols in Toxicology

Current Protocols in Toxicology

How to Cite

Dillman, J. F., Dawson, V. L. and Dawson, T. M. 2001. Overview of the Pathway and Functions of Nitric Oxide. Current Protocols in Toxicology. 00:10.1:10.1.1–10.1.6.

Author Information

  1. John Hopkins University School Of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: MAY 1999


Nitric oxide has been recognized for years as a toxic, reactive, free radical gas, but in recent years it has been identified as having functions in a variety of metabolic and signaling pathways. NO is synthesized, by nitric oxide synthase, on demand and diffuses to the site of action where it forms noncovalent and covalent linkages with target molecules. This overview presents the pathway of NO formation and also discusses the functions of NO in the nervous, immune and vascular systems.