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Analysis of smooth muscle function in IRAG knockout mice

Signaling by NO/cGMP relaxes various smooth muscles, modulating thereby vascular tone and gastrointestinal motility. An important signaling pathway of cGMP-dependent protein kinase type I (cGKI)-dependent relaxation is mediated by IRAG (IP3 Receptor Associated cGKI substrate) which is highly expressed in smooth muscle tissues. In order to elucidate the physiological role of IRAG we generated IRAG knockout mice by targeted deletion of exon 3.

The cGMP dependent relaxation of hormone induced contraction on gastrointestinal tissues of colon and jejunum as well as aortic vessels is significantly affected in IRAG knockout mice in comparison to wild type animals. The analysis of smooth muscle function indicates that IRAG is essentiaI for NO/cGMP/cGKI signaling, especially for regulating muscular tone.

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Correspondence to Matthias M Desch.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Desch, M.M., Sigl, K., Spiessberger, B. et al. Analysis of smooth muscle function in IRAG knockout mice. BMC Pharmacol 7 (Suppl 1), P14 (2007).

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