Mechanisms of cell protection by heme Oxygenase-1

Raffaella Gozzelino, Viktoria Jeney, Miguel P. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

642 Citations (Scopus)


Heme oxygenases (HO) catabolize free heme, that is, iron (Fe) protoporphyrin (IX), into equimolar amounts of Fe2+, carbon monoxide (CO), and biliverdin. The stress-responsive HO-1 isoenzyme affords protection against programmed cell death. The mechanism underlying this cytoprotective effect relies on the ability of HO-1 to catabolize free heme and prevent it from sensitizing cells to undergo programmed cell death. This cytoprotective effect inhibits the pathogenesis of a variety of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-354
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 2010



  • Cell death
  • Free radicals
  • Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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