In Vitro Assays for Cyclooxygenase Activity and Inhibitor Characterization

  • Mark C. WalkerEmail author
  • James K. Gierse
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 644)


Cyclooxygenases (COX), or Prostaglandin H Synthases (PGHS), are the target enzymes for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The identification of two isoforms of COX nearly 20 years ago stimulated a flurry of research activity to identify novel, selective inhibitors that could provide potential benefit over existing nonselective NSAIDS. An important contribution to this discovery effort was the development of various in vitro and in vivo assays to support rapid screening of chemical libraries, characterization of inhibitory mechanism, and determination of potency and efficacy to guide follow-up medicinal chemistry efforts. Several assay methods for the in vitro evaluation of COX activity and mechanism of inhibition by test compounds will be reviewed. Each of these methods has inherent advantages and disadvantages with regard to application and the mechanistic detail provided.

Key words

Cyclooxygenase COX Prostaglandin H synthase PGH synthase PGHS Prostaglandin PGE PGG PGH Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs Oxygen uptake Oxygen electrode Oxygraph Peroxidase ELISA 



prostaglandin H synthase








nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs


dimethyl sulfoxide




N,N,N′,N′-Tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine dihydrochloride


3-((3-Cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio)-1-propanesulfonate hydrate


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pfizer Global Research and DevelopmentChesterfieldUSA
  2. 2.Inflammation Research, Pfizer Global Research and DevelopmentChesterfieldUSA

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