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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jan;85(2):416-20.

Cloning of the cDNA for human 5-lipoxygenase.

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  • 1Department of Virus, Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486.


The enzyme 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) catalyzes the first two reactions in the pathway leading to the formation of leukotrienes from arachidonic acid. Leukotrienes are potent arachidonic acid metabolites possessing biological activities that suggest a role in the pathophysiology of allergic and inflammatory diseases. To obtain structural information about 5-LO for use in developing anti-inflammatory chemotherapeutic agents, the enzyme was purified from human polymorphonuclear leukocytes and the amino acid sequences were determined for several cyanogen bromide-derived peptides. A cDNA clone encoding a 674-amino acid protein containing all of the derived peptide sequences was isolated from a dimethyl sulfoxide differentiated HL60 cell cDNA library. The mRNA encoding 5-LO was detected only in differentiated HL60 cells and not in the undifferentiated cell line, indicating that the expression of 5-LO in this cell line is transcriptionally regulated. In addition, the human protein displays some amino acid sequence homology with several lipases and significant homology with the partial sequences of soybean and reticulocyte lipoxygenases. Thus, 5-LO appears to be a member of a larger family of related enzymes.

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