S-nitrosylation is a major redox posttranslational modification involved in cell signaling. The steady state concentration of S-nitrosylated proteins depends on the balance between the relative ability to generate nitric oxide (NO) via NO synthase and to reduce nitrosothiols by denitrosylases. Numerous works have been published in last decades regarding the role of NO and S-nitrosylation in the regulation of protein structure and function, and in driving cellular activities in vertebrates. Notwithstanding an increasing number of observations indicates that impairment of denitrosylation equally affects cellular homeostasis, there is still no report providing comprehensive knowledge on the impact that denitrosylation has on maintaining correct physiological processes and organ activities.
Among denitrosylases, S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) represents the prototype enzyme to disclose how denitrosylation plays a crucial role in tuning NO-bioactivity and how much it deeply impacts on cell homeostasis and human patho-physiology.
In this review we attempt to illustrate the history of GSNOR discovery and provide the evidence so far reported in support of GSNOR implications in development and human disease.