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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991 Nov 27;1086(3):287-94.

Metabolism of polyunsaturated (n-3) fatty acids by monkey seminal vesicles: isolation and biosynthesis of omega-3 epoxides.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, Uppsala Biomedicinska Centrum, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Monooxygenases of monkey seminal vesicles can metabolize arachidonic acid (20:4(n-6)) by w3-hydroxylation to 18(R)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (18(R)-HETE) and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5(n-3)) to 17,18-dihydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (Oliw, E.H. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 17845-17853). The present study aimed to further characterize the oxygenation of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids. 14C-Labelled 22:6(n-3), 20:5(n-3), 20:4-(n-3) and 18:3(n-3) were incubated with microsomes of seminal vesicles of the cynomolgus monkey, NADPH and a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, diclofenac, and the main metabolites were identified by capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. 22:6(n-3) was slowly metabolized to 19,20-dihydroxy-4,7,10,13,16-docosapentaenoic acid, while 20:5(n-3), 20:4(n-3) and 18:3(n-3) were metabolized more efficiently to the corresponding w4,w3-diols. The w3 epoxides, which were obtained from 20:5(n-3) and 18:3(n-3), were isolated in the presence of an epoxide hydrolase inhibitor, 1(2)epoxy-3,3,3-trichloropropane, and the geometry of the epoxides was determined to be 17S, 18R and 15S, 16R, respectively. While 20:5(n-3) was metabolized almost exclusively to the epoxide and diol pair of metabolites, 18:3(n-3) was metabolized not only to the w3 epoxide and the corresponding diol, but also to the w2 alcohol, 17(R)-hydroxy-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. 22:6(n-3) and 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid inhibited the biosynthesis of 18(R)-HETE from arachidonic acid (IC50 0.16 and 0.14 mM, respectively). In comparison with 20:4 or 18:3(n-3), 18:1(n-9) and 22:5(n-6) appeared to be slowly metabolized by seminal monooxygenases, while 18:2(n-6) was converted to the w3 alcohol and to smaller amounts of the w2 alcohol (4:1). Together, the results indicate that the w3-hydroxylase and w3-epoxygenase enzyme(s) metabolize 20:4(n-6) and 20:5(n-3) almost exclusively to the w3(R) alcohol and the w3(R, S) epoxide, respectively, while longer and shorter fatty acids either are poor substrates or metabolized with a lesser degree of position specificity.

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