NAD+-linked 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) catalyzes the oxidation of 15(S)-hydroxyl group of prostaglandins and lipoxins resulting in the formation of 15-keto metabolites which exhibit greatly reduced biological activities. Therefore, this enzyme has been considered the key enzyme responsible for the inactivation of prostaglandins and lipoxins. Both the cDNA and the genomic DNA of the 15-PGDH gene have been cloned. Structural characterization, transcriptional regulation and biological functions of this enzyme have been investigated. Molecular modeling corroborated with site-directed mutagenesis has identified key residues and domains involved in coenzyme and substrate binding. Catalytic mechanism has been proposed. Studies on the regulation of enzyme expression and activity by physiological and pharmacological agents have begun to uncover its significant roles in cancer, inflammation and reproduction. Apparently, 15-PGDH works with cyclooxygenase-2 to control the cellular levels of prostaglandins. Their reciprocal regulation within the same cells appears to determine the fate of the cells. Because of its ability to inactivate both prostaglandins and lipoxins of two opposite biological activities, the roles of 15-PGDH in cancer and inflammation are particularly intriguing and challenging. Future investigations in these areas are warranted.
Keywords: Dehydrogenase, Lipoxins, Prostaglandins, Enzyme Structure, Reproduction, Inflammation, Cancer
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