CO sniffing through heme-based sensor proteins

IUBMB Life. 2004 Jun;56(6):309-15. doi: 10.1080/10258140412331286937.


O(2), NO, and CO are substrates, products, and/or modulators in many enzymatic reactions including O(2) respiration, denitrification, N(2) fixation, and methanogenesis. Over the last decade, O(2), NO, and CO have been reported to act as signaling molecules in the control of several distinct biological functions. Here, the heme-based mechanisms of CO sensing by the bacterial homodimeric CooA and the mammalian heterodimeric NPAS2-BMAL1 transcriptional factors are reviewed, and the signal transduction pathways are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism*
  • Heme / metabolism
  • Hemeproteins / chemistry*
  • Hemeproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Hemeproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Heme
  • Carbon Monoxide