Courtney Sparacino-Watkins, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Funded by the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Enzyme May Play Key Role in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
We will study the role of nitrate as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Many features of PAH are associated with dysfunctional signaling mechanisms of nitric oxide (NO). Nitrite is a source of NO that acts in low-oxygen conditions. Several mechanisms for how nitrite is converted to NO have been investigated, yet no conclusive data points to a single enzyme as an indispensable component. We will focus on an enzyme called mARC-2, to see if it plays a key role in converting nitrite to NO, and whether it can be enhanced as a specific therapy for PAH.