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Annu Rev Med. 2002;53:35-57.

Cyclooxygenase-2: a therapeutic target.

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Department of Nutrition, Nestlé Research Center, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland.


Cyclooxygenase (COX), also known as prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase, is the key enzyme required for the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. Two COX isoforms have been identified, COX-1 and COX-2. In many situations, the COX-1 enzyme is produced constitutively (e.g., in gastric mucosa), whereas COX-2 is highly inducible (e.g., at sites of inflammation and cancer). Traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit both enzymes, and a new class of COX-2 selective inhibitors (COXIBs) preferentially inhibit the COX-2 enzyme. This review summarizes our current understanding of the role of COX-1 and COX-2 in normal physiology and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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