Nitric Oxide Receptors
Nitric oxide receptors are intracellular - the receptors are in the nucleus of the target cell. When a ligand, nitric oxide, binds to the receptor it causes a conformational change. This initiates a secondary messenger pathway.
4. Nitric oxide diffuses out of the cell and into the target cell containing the nitric oxide receptor.
6. cGMP activates secondary messenger pathways which cause the rapid relaxation of smooth muscle cell.
Nitric oxide is important as it signals blood vessels to dilate by relaxing smooth muscle cells enhancing the blood flow through the vessels.
- ↑ Alberts et al, (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell, Garland Science: New York, p888