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Carbon Monoxide: Medicinal Chemistry and Biological Effects

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Carbon monoxide (CO), which is classically thought of as a toxic molecule and cellular asphyxiate, has become increasingly recognized as an important molecule in the physiological regulation of multiple organ systems and in the restoration of homeostasis in pathophysiological states. CO has long been utilized as a tool in chemistry and physiology secondary to its ability to bind to heme proteins. Additionally, CO is produced endogenously in the breakdown of heme by heme oxygenase enzymes. Here we review the biological chemistry of CO and highlight some of the anti-inflammatory biological effects of the heme oxygenase/CO system.

Keywords: Heme Proteins; Organ Transplantation; airway inflammation; coronary ischemia; nitric oxide

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, NW653 MUH, 3459 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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