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J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 27;275(43):33435-42.

Rabbit serum paraoxonase 3 (PON3) is a high density lipoprotein-associated lactonase and protects low density lipoprotein against oxidation.

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  • 1Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0615, USA.


The paraoxonase gene family contains at least three members: PON1, PON2, and PON3. The physiological roles of the corresponding gene products are still uncertain. Until recently, only the serum paraoxonase/arylesterase (PON1) had been purified and characterized. Here we report the purification, cloning, and characterization of rabbit serum PON3. PON3 is a 40-kDa protein associated with the high density lipoprotein fraction of serum. In contrast to PON1, PON3 has very limited arylesterase and no paraoxonase activities but rapidly hydrolyzes lactones such as statin prodrugs (e.g. lovastatin). These differences facilitated the complete separation of PON3 from PON1 during purification. PON3 hydrolyzes aromatic lactones and 5- or 6-member ring lactones with aliphatic substituents but not simple lactones or those with polar substituents. We cloned PON3 from total rabbit liver RNA and expressed it in mammalian 293T/17 cells. The recombinant PON3 has the same apparent molecular mass and substrate specificity as the enzyme purified from serum. Rabbit serum PON3 is more efficient than rabbit PON1 in protecting low density lipoprotein from copper-induced oxidation. This is the first report that identifies a second PON enzyme in mammalian serum and the first to describe an enzymatic activity for PON3.

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