Cyclooxygenase allosterism, fatty acid-mediated cross-talk between monomerso f cyclooxygenase homodimers

Chong Yuan, Ranjinder S. Sidhu, Dmitry V. Kuklev, Yuji Kado, Masayuki Wada, Inseok Song, William L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Prostaglandin endoperoxide H synthases (PGHSs) 1 and 2, also known as cyclooxygenases (COXs), catalyze the oxygenation of arachidonic acid (AA) in the committed step in prostaglandin (PG) biosynthesis. PGHSs are homodimers that display half of sitesCOXactivity with AA; thus, PGHSs function as conformational heterodimers. Here we show that, during catalysis, fatty acids (FAs) are bound at both COX sites of a PGHS-2 dimer. Initially, anFAbinds with high affinity to one COX site of an unoccupied homodimer. This monomer becomes an allosteric monomer, and it causes the partner monomer to become the catalytic monomer that oxygenates AA. A variety of FAs can bind with high affinity to the COX site of the monomer that becomes the allosteric monomer. Importantly, the efficiency of AA oxygenation is determined by the nature of the FA bound to the allosteric monomer. When tested with low concentrations of saturated and monounsaturated FAs (e.g. oleic acid), the rates ofAAoxygenation are typically 1.5-2 times higher with PGHS-2 than with PGHS-1. These different kinetic behaviors of PGHSs may account for the ability of PGHS-2 but not PGHS-1 to efficiently oxygenate AA in intact cells when AA is a small fraction of the FA pool such as during "late phase" PG synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10046-10055
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2009


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