Cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 isoenzymes

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1999 May;31(5):551-7. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(98)00152-6.


The cyclooxygenase isoenzymes (COX-1 and -2) catalyze the rate-limiting steps in prostanoid biosynthesis. COX-1 and -2 genes encode two isoenzymes with overlapping yet distinct expression patterns and functions. Physiologically, various extracellular stimuli such as growth factors, cytokines and tumor promoters regulate the expression of COX-1 and -2 genes at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. COX-2 is overexpressed in rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal and breast cancer. Prostanoids produced by the COX pathway signal via plasma membrane-localized, G-protein-coupled receptors as well as via nuclear receptors. Currently, several COX-2-selective inhibitors are developed to control the anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic activities of the COX-2 isoenzyme. Inhibition of the COX isoenzyme activity and/or expression may be the basis of future generation of anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes* / chemistry*
  • Isoenzymes* / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Models, Biological
  • Peroxidases / physiology
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / chemistry*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / physiology*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Peroxidases
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases