Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.



Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Cells are constantly exposed to different stresses – one being redox stress, which is induced by metal, reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) helps modulate redox stress by two different mechanisms – either by reducing S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) or by oxidizing hydroxymethyl glutathione (HMGSH), a biproduct of glutathione and formaldehyde, to formic acid. GSNO has the potential to posttranslational modify proteins in two different manners, either by S-nitrosation or by S-glutathionylation. Interestingly, GSNOR can be modified by its substrate GSNO, either by S-nitrosation, which has previously been reported, or, as discussed in this thesis, by S-glutathionylation. As S-glutathionylation has been reported to occur through intermediate species, the S-glutathionylation of GSNOR appears to occur though the S-nitrosated intermediate, instead of the most common route of an oxidation pathway. It is hypothesized that the S-glutathionylation, and the overall presence of glutathione, can act as a buffer to regulate the amount of nitrosation that GSNOR experiences, and thus the enzymatic activity. It is has reported that the S-nitrosation occurs on three different non-structural, non-catalytic, solvent-accessible cysteine residues. Experimentation was conducted using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism to determine how those three cysteine residues of the GSNOR homolog Sensitive to Formaldehyde 1 (SFA1) participate in the indirect detoxification of formaldehyde, through the hydroxymethyl glutathione pathway. It has been determined that cysteine 370 is not as important as previously thought, but the other one or two cysteines (either cysteine 10 or 271) do indeed play a role in the detoxification, but further analysis needs to be conducted.


First Advisor

Elizabeth Vierling

Second Advisor

Stephen Eyles

Fourth Advisor

Eric Strieter

Included in

Biochemistry Commons