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J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 26;278(39):37937-47. Epub 2003 Jun 30.

Cellular prostaglandin E2 production by membrane-bound prostaglandin E synthase-2 via both cyclooxygenases-1 and -2.

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  • 1Department of Health Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan.


Current evidence suggests that two forms of prostaglandin (PG) E synthase (PGES), cytosolic PGES and membrane-bound PGES (mPGES) -1, preferentially lie downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) -1 and -2, respectively, in the PGE2 biosynthetic pathway. In this study, we examined the expression and functional aspects of the third PGES enzyme, mPGES-2, in mammalian cells and tissues. mPGES-2 was synthesized as a Golgi membrane-associated protein, and spontaneous cleavage of the N-terminal hydrophobic domain led to the formation of a truncated mature protein that was distributed in the cytosol with a trend to be enriched in the perinuclear region. In several cell lines, mPGES-2 promoted PGE2 production via both COX-1 and COX-2 in the immediate and delayed responses with modest COX-2 preference. In contrast to the marked inducibility of mPGES-1, mPGES-2 was constitutively expressed in various cells and tissues and was not increased appreciably during tissue inflammation or damage. Interestingly, a considerable elevation of mPGES-2 expression was observed in human colorectal cancer. Collectively, mPGES-2 is a unique PGES that can be coupled with both COXs and may play a role in the production of the PGE2 involved in both tissue homeostasis and disease.

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