Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate are second messengers that regulate multiple physiological functions. The existence of additional cyclic nucleotides in mammalian cells was postulated many years ago, but technical problems hampered development of the field. Using highly specific and sensitive mass spectrometry methods, soluble guanylyl cyclase has recently been shown to catalyze the formation of several cyclic nucleotides in vitro. This minireview discusses the broad substrate-specificity of soluble guanylyl cyclase and the possible second messenger roles of cyclic nucleotides other than adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate. We hope that this article stimulates productive and critical research in an area that has been neglected for many years.