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Mechanisms of Cell Protection by Heme oxygenase-1


Mechanisms of Cell Protection by Heme oxygenase-1

Raffaella Gozzelino et al. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol.


Heme oxygenases (HO) catabolize free heme, that is, iron (Fe) protoporphyrin (IX), into equimolar amounts of Fe(2+), carbon monoxide (CO), and biliverdin. The stress-responsive HO-1 isoenzyme affords protection against programmed cell death. The mechanism underlying this cytoprotective effect relies on the ability of HO-1 to catabolize free heme and prevent it from sensitizing cells to undergo programmed cell death. This cytoprotective effect inhibits the pathogenesis of a variety of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

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