Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a prominent mammalian heme peroxidase and a fundamental component of the innate immune response against microbial pathogens. In recent times, MPO has received considerable attention as a key oxidative enzyme capable of impairing the bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO) and promoting endothelial dysfunction; a clinically relevant event that manifests throughout the development of inflammatory cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence indicates that during cardiovascular disease, MPO is released intravascularly by activated leukocytes resulting in its transport and sequestration within the vascular endothelium. At this site, MPO catalyzes various oxidative reactions that are capable of promoting vascular inflammation and impairing NO bioactivity and endothelial function. In particular, MPO catalyzes the production of the potent oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and the catalytic consumption of NO via the enzyme's NO oxidase activity. An emerging paradigm is the ability of MPO to also influence endothelial function via non-catalytic, cytokine-like activities. In this review article we discuss the implications of our increasing knowledge of the versatility of MPO's actions as a mediator of cardiovascular disease and endothelial dysfunction for the development of new pharmacological agents capable of effectively combating MPO's pathogenic activities. More specifically, we will (i) discuss the various transport mechanisms by which MPO accumulates into the endothelium of inflamed or diseased arteries, (ii) detail the clinical and basic scientific evidence identifying MPO as a significant cause of endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, (iii) provide an up-to-date coverage on the different oxidative mechanisms by which MPO can impair endothelial function during cardiovascular disease including an evaluation of the contributions of MPO-catalyzed HOCl production and NO oxidation, and (iv) outline the novel non-enzymatic mechanisms of MPO and their potential contribution to endothelial dysfunction. Finally, we deliver a detailed appraisal of the different pharmacological strategies available for targeting the catalytic and non-catalytic modes-of-action of MPO in order to protect against endothelial dysfunction in cardiovascular disease.


Atherosclerosis, Antioxidant, Extracellular matrix, Glycocalyx, Nitric oxide, Oxidative stress

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