Membrane-associated proteins in eicosanoid and glutathione metabolism (MAPEG). A widespread protein superfamily

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Feb;161(2 Pt 2):S20-4. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.161.supplement_1.ltta-5.


The members of the MAPEG superfamily have been aligned and found to be distantly related, with a common pattern of hydropathy. Figure 2A shows the multiple sequence alignments of the human members and Figure 2B the corresponding superimposed hydropathy profiles. The alignment in Figure 2A demonstrates a total of six strictly conserved residues. The Arg-51 in LTC4 synthase has been suggested to function as proton donor for the opening of the LTA4 epoxide. This arginine is found in all but the FLAP sequences in accordance with the observation that FLAP has no known enzyme activity. Also the Tyr-93 in LTC4 synthase has been suggested to function as a base for the formation of the thiolate anion of glutathione. This tyrosine is not conserved in MGST1 or MGST1-L1. Table 1 summarizes some other properties of the individual human proteins. They are all of the same size, ranging from 147 to 161 amino acids. Only FLAP differs in that its isoelectric point is more neutral than that of the other, more basic proteins. The genes encoding these proteins all reside on different chromosomes (when known) (Table 1). In addition to the human proteins, MAPEG members have been identified in plants, fungi, and bacteria. It is clearly a challenge to elucidate their role in these different phyla in relation to their defined physiological functions in humans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Leukotrienes / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Eicosanoids
  • Leukotrienes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Glutathione