Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 618–624

Roles of COX-1 and COX-2 in gastrointestinal pathophysiology

  • Choitsu Sakamoto

DOI: 10.1007/s005350050147

Cite this article as:
Sakamoto, C. J Gastroenterol (1998) 33: 618. doi:10.1007/s005350050147


In this review, COX-1 and COX-2 proteins have been shown to be homologous in protein structure and ability to synthesize PG, but they have been also shown to be induced differently. COX-1 mRNA and protein have been shown to be induced slowly in intestinal crypt cells in response to irradiation and suggested to be important for crypt cell survival. Therefore, the cox-1 gene is suggested to be a delayed response gene in some systems. However, in cox-1 gene knockout animals there are no pathological gastric and intestinal findings. Although the precise roles of COX-1 in epithelial proliferation and differentiation in the gastrointestinal tract are not yet known, it apparently acts as a constitutive PG producer, thereby protecting the mucosa. On the other hand, COX-2 mRNA and protein have been shown to be induced rapidly in inflammatory sites of the stomach and colon. Thus, COX-2-derived PG presumably plays a role in the repair process of gastritis, ulcers, and colitis. Furthermore, loss of apc gene function probably induces COX-2 mRNA in gastrointestinal mucosa. Thus, high expression levels of COX-2 may lead to phenotypic changes in both intestinal epithelial cells and colon cancer cells.

Key words: cyclooxygenaseprostaglandingastric ulcercolon cancer

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Choitsu Sakamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Third Department of Internal Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8603, JapanJP