Mitochondrial GSNOR Alleviates Cardiac Dysfunction via ANT1 Denitrosylation

Circ Res. 2023 Jul 21;133(3):220-236. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.123.322654. Epub 2023 Jun 28.


Background: The cardiac-protective role of GSNOR (S-nitrosoglutathione reductase) in the cytoplasm, as a denitrosylase enzyme of S-nitrosylation, has been reported in cardiac remodeling, but whether GSNOR is localized in other organelles and exerts novel effects remains unknown. We aimed to elucidate the effects of mitochondrial GSNOR, a novel subcellular localization of GSNOR, on cardiac remodeling and heart failure (HF).

Methods: GSNOR subcellular localization was observed by cellular fractionation assay, immunofluorescent staining, and colloidal gold particle staining. Overexpression of GSNOR in mitochondria was achieved by mitochondria-targeting sequence-directed adeno-associated virus 9. Cardiac-specific knockout of GSNOR mice was used to examine the role of GSNOR in HF. S-nitrosylation sites of ANT1 (adenine nucleotide translocase 1) were identified using biotin-switch and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

Results: GSNOR expression was suppressed in cardiac tissues of patients with HF. Consistently, cardiac-specific knockout mice showed aggravated pathological remodeling induced by transverse aortic constriction. We found that GSNOR is also localized in mitochondria. In the angiotensin II-induced hypertrophic cardiomyocytes, mitochondrial GSNOR levels significantly decreased along with mitochondrial functional impairment. Restoration of mitochondrial GSNOR levels in cardiac-specific knockout mice significantly improved mitochondrial function and cardiac performance in transverse aortic constriction-induced HF mice. Mechanistically, we identified ANT1 as a direct target of GSNOR. A decrease in mitochondrial GSNOR under HF leads to an elevation of S-nitrosylation ANT1 at cysteine 160 (C160). In accordance with these findings, overexpression of either mitochondrial GSNOR or ANT1 C160A, non-nitrosylated mutant, significantly improved mitochondrial function, maintained the mitochondrial membrane potential, and upregulated mitophagy.

Conclusions: We identified a novel species of GSNOR localized in mitochondria and found mitochondrial GSNOR plays an essential role in maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis through ANT1 denitrosylation, which provides a potential novel therapeutic target for HF.

Keywords: formaldehyde dehydrogenase, glutathione-independent; heart failure; mitochondria; mitochondrial ADP, ATP translocases; protein processing, post-translational.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heart
  • Heart Failure* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Ventricular Remodeling*


  • Slc25a4 protein, mouse
  • Adh5 protein, mouse