Regulation of pleiotropic physiological roles of nitric oxide signaling

Loshini Soundararajan, Arunasalam Dharmarajan, Priyanka Samji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric Oxide (NO) is a highly diffusible, ubiquitous signaling molecule and a free radical that is naturally synthesized by our body. The pleiotropic effects of NO in biological systems are due to its reactivity with different molecules, such as molecular oxygen (O 2), superoxide anion, DNA, lipids, and proteins. There are several contradictory findings in the literature pertaining to its role in oncology. NO is a Janus-faced molecule shown to have both tumor promoting and tumoricidal effects, which depend on its concentration, duration of exposure, and location. A high concentration is shown to have cytotoxic effects by triggering apoptosis, and at a low concentration, NO promotes angiogenesis, metastasis, and tumor progression. Upregulated NO synthesis has been implicated as a causal factor in several pathophysiological conditions including cancer. This dichotomous effect makes it highly challenging to discover its true potential in cancer biology. Understanding the mechanisms by which NO acts in different cancers helps to develop NO based therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment. This review addresses the physiological role of this molecule, with a focus on its bimodal action in various types of cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110496
Pages (from-to)17
JournalCellular Signalling
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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