The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the family of nitric oxide synthases, which synthesize nitric oxide from L-arginine. Nitric oxide is a reactive free radical, which acts as a biologic mediator in several processes, including neurotransmission, and antimicrobial and antitumoral activities. In the brain and peripheral nervous system, nitric oxide displays many properties of a neurotransmitter, and has been implicated in neurotoxicity associated with stroke and neurodegenerative diseases, neural regulation of smooth muscle, including peristalsis, and penile erection. This protein is ubiquitously expressed, with high level of expression in skeletal muscle. Multiple transcript variants that differ in the 5' UTR have been described for this gene but the full-length nature of these transcripts is not known. Additionally, alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms (some testis-specific) have been found for this gene.
Alternative names and synonyms associated with NOS1