Protective role of heme oxygenase-1 in liver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is the rate limiting enzyme in heme catabolism and degrades heme to carbon monoxide, biliverdin, and ferrous iron. HO-1 transcriptional induction occurs in response to multiple forms of chemical, physical stress and cytokines. HO-1 confers cytoprotection by inhibiting apoptosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It has been shown that HO-1 induction and HO-1 products interfere with replication of HCV and markedly decreased HCV replication. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that induction of HO-1 may be involved in carcinogenesis and can play a role in the metastasis and growth of tumors. The antioxidant, antiviral activity of HO-1 makes it the cytoprotective enzyme for liver tissue in HCV infection, and induction of HO-1 can be suggested as a future therapeutic approach. However, the role of HO-1 in tumor growth should not be ignored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-628
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • heme oxygenase-1
  • hepatitis C virus
  • inflammation
  • protection of liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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