Recent advances in arginine metabolism: roles and regulation of the arginases

Authors


Sidney M Morris, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. E-mail: smorris@pitt.edu

Abstract

As arginine can serve as precursor to a wide range of compounds, including nitric oxide, creatine, urea, polyamines, proline, glutamate and agmatine, there is considerable interest in elucidating mechanisms underlying regulation of its metabolism. It is now becoming apparent that the two isoforms of arginase in mammals play key roles in regulation of most aspects of arginine metabolism in health and disease. In particular, work over the past several years has focused on the roles and regulation of the arginases in vascular disease, pulmonary disease, infectious disease, immune cell function and cancer. As most of these topics have been considered in recent review articles, this review will focus more closely on results of recent studies on expression of the arginases in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, post-translational modulation of arginase activity and applications of arginase inhibitors in vivo.

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