Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit the action of prostaglandin H synthase (PGH synthase), and this effect may constitute the basis for therapeutic and idiosyncratic responses to these agents. We found that aspirin treatment of cultured ovine tracheal epithelial cells blocked PGH synthase-catalyzed formation of PG as expected but also caused a dose-dependent increase in 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) production from arachidonic acid. In contrast, aspirin caused only inhibition of PG production without enhancing 15-HETE formation in ovine seminal vesicle and other tissues. The 15-HETE formed by aspirin-treated ovine tracheal epithelial cells was generated by a PGH synthase-dependent mechanism because: (i) the 15-HETE forming activity was just as sensitive as PG forming activity to selective inhibition by indomethacin; (ii) both 15-HETE and PG forming activities were quantitatively immunoprecipitated (depleted from supernatants and recovered in immune complex pellets) by a specific anti-PGH synthase antiserum. Additional immunoprecipitation experiments indicated that anti-PGH synthase monoclonal antibodies (cyo-1 and cyo-5) raised against the aspirin-inhibited form of the enzyme (contained in seminal vesicle) did not recognize the aspirin-stimulated 15-HETE-forming PGH synthase (contained in cultured epithelial cells). Thus, sequential immunoprecipitation of cultured epithelial cell material first with excess cyo-1 followed by anti-PGH synthase antiserum indicated that two isoforms of PGH synthase were expressed in these cells. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of immunoprecipitated PGH synthase from cultured epithelial cells revealed distinct protein bands for each form of the enzyme (Mr = 70,000 and 72,000). The identification of a distinct PGH synthase which may be modified by aspirin so that selective oxygenation of fatty acid substrate is enhanced (while PG formation is inhibited) indicates that isozymes of PGH synthase exist which are pharmacologically distinct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21438-21445
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Oct 25 1992


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