Asthmatics Breathe Easier When It's SNO-ing

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Science  10 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5728, pp. 1560-1561
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114163

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A debilitating symptom of asthma is periodic airway constriction, which impairs breathing. In his Perspective, Gerard discusses the discovery of a dehyrogease that acts as a reductase for small molecules called S-nitrothiols or SNOs. Because the SNOs regulate smooth muscle tone and seem to result in airway relaxation, reduction of SNOs by this dehydrogenase promotes airway constriction. Thus, inhibition of the dehydrogenase could prove to be useful for treating this aspect of asthma.