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November 1993

Should Surgeons Clone Genes?The Strategy Behind the Cloning of the Human Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pa. The University of Pittsburgh, the Department of Surgery, and coauthors David A. Geller, MD, and Timothy R. Billar, MD, have a patent pending on the human inducible nitric oxide synthase cDNA clone. As such, the authors have a financial interest in the development of drugs or other products resulting from or directly related to the human inducible nitric oxide synthase cDNA.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(11):1212-1220. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420230040006

Nitric oxide (NO) is a recently recognized biological mediator that has triggered an explosion of scientific research over the last 5 years, resulting in NO being named "Molecule of the Year" by Science in 1992. Much of the excitement is due to the physiological and pathophysiological functions exerted by NO as a vasodilator, neurotransmitter, and antimicrobial effector molecule. The purpose of this review is to describe the cloning of the inducible NO synthase gene from human hepatocytes, with particular emphasis on the importance to surgeons of cloning genes and on the utility of applying modern molecular biology to the study of diseases relevant to surgical practice. Overall cloning techniques and the specific strategy used to clone the human inducible NO synthase gene are reviewed. In addition, applications of gene cloning to clinical surgery are discussed. Isolating the inducible human NO synthase gene has provided important information regarding the regulation of induced NO synthesis in human cells and has provided a critical tool for further studies to define the role of NO in normal and disease processes.

(Arch Surg. 1993;128:1212-1220)

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