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Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2009 Feb;23(1):49-59. doi: 10.1007/s10557-008-6132-9. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Phospholipase A2 biochemistry.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of California, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92093-0601, USA.


The phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) superfamily consists of many different groups of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of the sn-2 ester bond in a variety of different phospholipids. The products of this reaction, a free fatty acid, and lysophospholipid have many different important physiological roles. There are five main types of PLA(2): the secreted sPLA(2)'s, the cytosolic cPLA(2)'s, the Ca(2+)independent iPLA(2)'s, the PAF acetylhydrolases, and the lysosomal PLA(2)'s. This review focuses on the superfamily of PLA(2) enzymes, and then uses three specific examples of these enzymes to examine the differing biochemistry of the three main types of these enzymes. These three examples are the GIA cobra venom PLA(2), the GIVA cytosolic cPLA(2), and the GVIA Ca(2+)-independent iPLA(2).

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