GSNOR deficiency promotes tumor growth via FAK1 S-nitrosylation

Salvatore Rizza*, Luca Di Leo, Chiara Pecorari, Paola Giglio, Fiorella Faienza, Costanza Montagna, Emiliano Maiani, Michele Puglia, Francesca M. Bosisio, Trine Skov Petersen, Lin Lin, Vendela Rissler, Juan Salamanca Viloria, Yonglun Luo, Elena Papaleo, Daniela De Zio, Blagoy Blagoev, Giuseppe Filomeni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Nitric oxide (NO) production in the tumor microenvironment is a common element in cancer. S-nitrosylation, the post-translational modification of cysteines by NO, is emerging as a key transduction mechanism sustaining tumorigenesis. However, most oncoproteins that are regulated by S-nitrosylation are still unknown. Here we show that S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR), the enzyme that deactivates S-nitrosylation, is hypo-expressed in several human malignancies. Using multiple tumor models, we demonstrate that GSNOR deficiency induces S-nitrosylation of focal adhesion kinase 1 (FAK1) at C658. This event enhances FAK1 autophosphorylation and sustains tumorigenicity by providing cancer cells with the ability to survive in suspension (evade anoikis). In line with these results, GSNOR-deficient tumor models are highly susceptible to treatment with FAK1 inhibitors. Altogether, our findings advance our understanding of the oncogenic role of S-nitrosylation, define GSNOR as a tumor suppressor, and point to GSNOR hypo-expression as a therapeutically exploitable vulnerability in cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111997
JournalCell Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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