NOS is a key enzyme in the production of NO, a molecule that directly regulates vasorelaxation and blood supply. Diverse forms of muscle disease have been clinically associated with unusual fatigue after exercise. The localization of neuronal NOS (nNOS) at the plasma membrane of muscle has recently been shown to prevent muscle fatigue after exercise. In this issue of the JCI, Lai et al. show that dystrophin — the structural protein missing in individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy — anchors nNOS to the sarcolemma through a direct interaction with dystrophin spectrin-like repeats 16 and 17 (see the related article beginning on page 624). Furthermore, in another recently reported study of mouse models of muscular dystrophy, phosphodiesterase 5A inhibitors were used to treat the downstream ischemia that is associated with nNOS mislocalization. Collectively, these findings significantly advance our understanding of exercise-induced muscle fatigue and its role in muscle disease.
Ahlke Heydemann, Elizabeth McNally