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Human Lipoxygenase: Developments in its Structure, Function, Relevance to Diseases and Challenges in Drug Development

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Human lipoxygenases (LOXs) are the enzymes participating in the metabolism of the polyunsaturated fatty acids and catalyzing their oxidation to a variety of eicosanoids, which as the secondary signal transducers have a major impact on human homeostasis. They are involved in many diseases such as inflammatory responses, cancers, cardiovascular and kidney diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and metabolic syndrome. This review summarizes recent developments concerning human 12S-LOX and rabbit 15-LOX projected upon available structural data of LOX and COX oxidoreductases, with conclusions that might apply to LOX family of enzymes in general. Namely: (i) Human lipoxygenases might act as oligomers consisting of active and apo monomers. (ii) Sequential homodimers might act as structural heterodimers with the dimeric interface formed by the interactions resembling the leucine zipper in the coiled-coil superstructure. (iii) Two commonly recognized domains are not sufficient to explain LOX flexibility. Molecular architecture should contain assignment of another regulatory domain of alpha-beta character, possibly important in molecular signaling, which might provide another avenue for targeted drug development. (iv) Allosteric mechanism might involve orchestrated conformational changes and flexibility of the coils connecting the structured elements and ligands binding in more than one monomer.

Keywords: Allosteric mechanism; COX; LOX; eicosanoids; fatty acid metabolism; lipoxygenase; oxidoreductases; polyunsaturated fatty acids; protein domain architecture; structural heterodimers

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-10-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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