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Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2012 Sep;22(9):653-8. doi: 10.1097/FPC.0b013e3283562d82.

Functional analysis of human thromboxane synthase polymorphic variants.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Thromboxane A synthase (TXAS) metabolizes the cyclooxygenase product prostaglandin (PG) H2 into thromboxane H2 (TXA2), a potent inducer of blood vessel constriction and platelet aggregation. Nonsynonymous polymorphisms in the TXAS gene have the potential to alter TXAS activity and affect TXA2 generation.


The aim of this study was to assess the functional effects of genetic variants in the TXAS protein, including K258E, L357V, Q417E, E450K, and T451N.


Wild-type TXAS and the variant proteins were expressed in a bacterial system and purified by affinity and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The two characteristic catalytic activities of TXAS were assayed in each of the purified recombinant proteins: isomerization of PGH2 to TXA2 and fragmentation of PGH2 to 12-hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid and malondialdehyde.


All of the variants showed both isomerization and fragmentation activities. The Km values of the variants ranged from 27 to 52 µmol/l PGH2 (wild-type value: 32 μmol/l PGH2); the Vmax values of the variants ranged from 18 to 40 U/mg (wild-type value: 41 U/mg). The kinetic differences were largest for the L357V variant, whose Vmax/Km ratio was just 27% of the wild-type value.


The increased Km and decreased Vmax values observed with L357V suggest that this variant may generate less TXA2 at the low levels of PGH2 expected in vivo, raising the possibility of attenuated signaling through the thromboxane pathway.

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