S-Nitrosoglutathione Reductase Underlies the Dysfunctional Relaxation to Nitric Oxide in Preterm Labor
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Tocolytics show limited efficacy to prevent preterm delivery. In uterine smooth muscle cGMP accumulation following addition of nitric oxide (NO) has little effect on relaxation suggesting a role for protein S-nitrosation. In human myometrial tissues from women in labor at term (TL), or spontaneously in labor preterm (sPTL), direct stimulation of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) fails to relax myometrium, while the same treatment relaxes vascular smooth muscle completely. Unlike term myometrium, effects of NO are not only blunted in sPTL, but global protein S-nitrosation is also diminished, suggesting a dysfunctional response to NO-mediated protein S-nitrosation. Examination of the enzymatic regulator of endogenous S-nitrosoglutathione availability, S-nitrosoglutathione reductase, reveals increased expression of the reductase in preterm myometrium associated with decreased total protein S-nitrosation. Blockade of S-nitrosoglutathione reductase relaxes sPTL tissue. Addition of NO donor to the actin motility assay attenuates force. Failure of sGC activation to mediate relaxation in sPTL tissues, together with the ability of NO to relax TL, but not sPTL myometrium, suggests a unique pathway for NO-mediated relaxation in myometrium. Our results suggest that examining the action of S-nitrosation on critical contraction associated proteins central to the regulation of uterine smooth muscle contraction can reveal new tocolytic targets.