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Nitric Oxide Donors. For Pharmaceutical and Biological Applications. Edited by Peng G. Wang Tingwei B

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Nitric Oxide Donors
For Pharmaceutical
and Biological
Edited by Peng G.
Wang, Tingwei B.
Cai and Naoyuki
Taniguchi. WileyVCH, Weinheim
2005. 390 pp.,
E 149.00.—ISBN
Nitric oxide (NO) is a diatomic free
radical, and is formed in the air by
electric discharges and combustion
processes. It is a toxic component of
cigarette smoke, exhaust emissions, and
factory fumes, and can be considered as
a pollutant in the environment. Fortunately, it is not stable in higher concentrations. Its half-life in the presence of
oxygen and other reactants is in the
range of seconds.
The insight that cellular NO, formed
endogenously from l-arginine, catalyzed by NO synthases, is a very important natural messenger molecule (a biological role that is very old from an
evolutionary standpoint) is considered
to be the most sensational discovery of
the last two decades in life science. NO
was declared “molecule of the year” in
1992 by the journal Science, and in 1998
the Nobel Prize was awarded to R. F.
Furchgott, L. J. Ignarro, and F. Murad in
recognition of their pioneering research
on this topic.
The discovery of the biological role
of NO triggered an avalanche of
research, and it rapidly became apparent that NO is not only an endogenous
natural vasodilator but also has manifold physiological and pathophysiological functions. Research is ongoing and
knowledge is still increasing, as evidenced by increasing numbers of scientific publications, international NO con-
ferences, the formation of a Nitric Oxide
Society, and the launching of the scientific journal Nitric Oxide—Biology and
The discovery of endogenous NO
stimulated a demand for exogenous
chemical sources of NO, in order to
mimic and study NO-mediated biological effects, and also for therapeutic
intervention in cases of pathological
NO deficiency. These NO donors are
the subject of the book Nitric Oxide
Donors by Wang, Cai, and Taniguchi.
Organic nitrates have been used
therapeutically since the middle of the
19th century, but little was known about
the molecular mechanism of action until
the late 1980s. Subsequently, other NO
donors were developed, such as nitroso
compounds, various N,O-heterocycles,
diazenium diolates, and others.
Of course, there have been many
reviews and also some textbooks, not
only dealing with the physiology and
pathophysiology of NO but also discussing the different types of NO donors.
Nitric Oxide Donors reviews past progress on the topic and updates it, which
is greatly welcome in such a fast-developing field of research and therapy. The
book is certainly very suitable as a
complement to previous books covering
topics such as novel NO donors, novel
applications, problems of site-specific
NO delivery, bioactivation of NO
donors, NO–drug hybrids, etc.
The contents of the book are organized according to the chemical nature of
the different NO donors. Organic
nitrates and nitrites, N-nitroso compounds, S-nitroso compounds, NO–
metal complexes, NO-releasing heterocycles, C-nitroso compounds, oximes,
and N-hydroxyguanidine and Nhydroxyurea derivatives are covered in
different chapters of Part 1. These sections focus mainly on the chemistry of
the different NO donors, individual
bioactivation processes, and the mechanisms of NO production. Part 2 contains
additional sections concerned with the
8 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
application of these NO donors in life
science research and in clinical applications, mainly in the field of cardiovascular and CNS diseases, and also covers
aspects of gene regulation.
The chapters have been written
independently by various internationally recognized authors, and consequently there is a certain amount of
repetition of some important topics (for
example, biological effects that are produced similarly by different NO
donors). This may not affect the quality
adversely, since most readers will probably concentrate on selected chapters
rather than studying them all in detail.
Furthermore, all of the topics are presented in a concise and highly concentrated form.
In conclusion, two major advantages
of this book should be mentioned. First,
it is the most up-to-date treatment of the
field, and covers all the recent publications. The bibliography is comprehensive and excellent, in contrast to the
rather poor index. Secondly, the treatment is surprisingly precise and comprehensive, despite the fact that the
book contains fewer than 400 rather
small-sized pages. With regard to design,
layout, and style of language and discussion, the text is compressed and rich
in information. For everyone working in
the field, the book covers not only the
background and established knowledge,
but also new developments, in a compressed, competent, modern, concise,
and nicely arranged way. For some
years to come, this book will be recognized as certainly the best compendium
on NO donors and—to some extent—on
the physiological effects of NO.
Jochen Lehmann
Lehrstuhl f.r Pharmazeutische/
Medizinische Chemie
Universit3t Jena (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200585308
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 4891 – 4892
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tingwei, oxide, application, biological, nitric, donor, edited, wang, pharmaceutical, peng
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