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Immunology. 2007 Oct;122(2):157-66. Epub 2007 May 2.

Expression of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) in T lymphocytes.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie et Génétique Moléculaire, Faculté de Médecine, Limoges, France.


5-Lipoxygenase (5-LOX) is the key enzyme responsible for the synthesis of the biologically active leukotrienes. Its presence has been reported in cells of the myeloid lineage and B lymphocytes but has not been formally defined in T lymphocytes. In this study, we provide evidence for 5-LOX expression on both transcriptional and translational levels in highly purified peripheral blood T cells as well as in human T lymphoblastoid cell lines (MOLT4 and Jurkat). Messenger RNA (mRNA) of 5-LOX was amplified by conventional reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR; MOLT4 and Jurkat cells) and by in situ RT-PCR (T lymphocytes). 5-LOX protein expression was confirmed by Western blot and immunofluorescence studies. 5-LOX was present primarily in the cytoplasm with some nuclear localization and was translocated to the nuclear periphery after culture in a mitosis-supporting medium. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis of different T-lymphocyte populations, including CD4, CD8, CD45RO, CD45RA, T helper type 2, and T-cell receptor-alphabeta and -gammadelta expressing cells, did not identify a differential distribution of the enzyme. Purified peripheral blood T lymphocytes were incapable of synthesizing leukotrienes in the absence of exogenous arachidonic acid. Jurkat cells produced leukotriene C(4) and a small amount of leukotriene B(4) in response to CD3-CD28 cross-linking. This synthesis was abolished by two inhibitors of leukotriene synthesis, MK-886 and AA-861. The presence of 5-LOX in T lymphocytes but the absence of endogenous lipoxygenase metabolite production compared to Jurkat cells may constitute a fundamental difference between resting peripheral lymphocytes and leukaemic cells.

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