Carbon monoxide-releasing molecules
Carbon monoxide-releasing molecules (CO-RMs) are chemical compounds that release controlled amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) to cells and tissues and are being developed as potential therapeutic agents. Although long recognized as a poison, CO also exhibits beneficial effects in small doses. These effects include anti-inflammatory activity, vasodilatation, and cardioprotection. CO is produced in mammals during the degradation of heme by heme oxygenase-1, a redox-sensitive enzyme induced by oxidative stress. It is this enzymatic reaction that inspired the development of synthetic CO-RMs.
Synthetic CO-RMs are typically metal carbonyl complexes. A representative CO-RM that has been extensively characterized both from a biochemical and pharmacological view point is the ruthenium(II) complex Ru(glycinate)Cl(CO)3, also known as CORM-3.
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