Send to

Choose Destination
J Biochem. 2002 Mar;131(3):285-92.

Phospholipase A2.

Author information

Department of Health Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan.


Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) catalyzes the hydrolysis of the sn-2 position of membrane glycerophospholipids to liberate arachidonic acid (AA), a precursor of eicosanoids including prostaglandins (PGs) and leukotrienes (LTs). The same reaction also produces lysophosholipids, which represent another class of lipid mediators. So far, at least 19 enzymes that possess PLA2 activity have been identified in mammals. The secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) family, in which 10 isozymes have been identified, consists of low-molecular-weight, Ca2+-requiring, secretory enzymes that have been implicated in a number of biological processes, such as modification of eicosanoid generation, inflammation, host defense, and atherosclerosis. The cytosolic PLA2 (cPLA2) family consists of 3 enzymes, among which cPLA2alpha plays an essential role in the initiation of AA metabolism. Intracellular activation of cPLA2alpha is tightly regulated by Ca2+ and phosphorylation. The Ca2+-independent PLA2 (iPLA2) family contains 2 enzymes and may play a major role in membrane phospholipid remodeling. The platelet-activating factor (PAF) acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) family represents a unique group of PLA2 that contains 4 enzymes exhibiting unusual substrate specificity toward PAF and/or oxidized phospholipids. In this review, we will overview current understanding of the properties and functions of each enzyme belonging to the sPLA2, cPLA2, and iPLA2 families, which have been implicated in signal transduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for J-STAGE, Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic
Loading ...
Support Center