Phenylalanine (l-phenylalanine) is amino acid. It is an essential nutrient in the diet of vertebrates.
- Heart Health (Cardiovascular Health)
- Restores Vascular Function 
Disease / Symptom Treatment
- Heart Disease
Title: l-Phenylalanine Restores Vascular Function in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Through Activation of the GCH1-GFRP Complex
Author(s): Lamia Heikal PhD, Anna Starr PhD, Dania Hussein PhD, Jesus, Prieto-Lloret PhD, Phil Aaronson PhD, Lea Ann Dailey PhD, Manasi Nandi PhD
Institution(s): Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom, Division of Asthma, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom, Cardiovascular Division, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom
Publication: JACC: Basic to Translational Science
Date: 30 May 2018
Abstract: Reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability correlates with impaired cardiovascular function. NO is extremely labile and has been challenging to develop as a therapeutic agent. However, NO bioavailability could be enhanced by pharmacologically targeting endogenous NO regulatory pathways. Tetrahydrobiopterin, an essential cofactor for NO production, is synthesized by GTP cyclohydrolase-1 (GCH1), which complexes with GCH1 feedback regulatory protein (GFRP). The dietary amino acid l-phenylalanine activates this complex, elevating vascular BH4. Here, the authors demonstrate that l-phenylalanine administration restores vascular function in a rodent model of hypertension, suggesting the GCH1-GFRP complex represents a rational therapeutic target for diseases underpinned by endothelial dysfunction.
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