Eicosanoid Formation and Regulation of Phospholipase A2

  • Eduardo G. Lapetina
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


The oxygenated derivatives of arachidonic acid that are biologically active are defined as eicosanoids (Needleman et al., 1986). Among the eicosanoids are prostaglandins, including prostacyclin, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, and various hydroxy acids (Fig. 1). The eicosanoid precursor, arachidonic acid, is esterified in the 2-position of several phospholipids, and it must be hydrolyzed before the eicosanoids can be synthesized (Fig. 1). The liberated arachidonic acid can be enzymatically oxygenated by a membrane-bound cyclooxygenase, a microsomal cytochrome p450 or a cytosolic lipoxygenase with the formation of unstable intermediate products (Fig.1). These intermediate products include endoperoxides for prostaglandin production and epoxides and hydroperoxides for leukotriene and hydroxy acid formation (Fig 1). The type of arachidonate oxygenation is characteristic of the enzymes that each cell contains.


Arachidonic Acid Pertussis Toxin Hydroxy Acid Eicosatrienoic Acid Eicosanoid Formation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo G. Lapetina
    • 1
  1. 1.Division Of Cell BiologyBurroughs Wellcome Co.Research Triangle ParkUSA

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