The lipoxygenase of reticulocytes. Purification, characterization and biological dynamics of the lipoxygenase; its identity with the respiratory inhibitors of the reticulocyte

Eur J Biochem. 1979 Jun 1;96(3):545-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1979.tb13068.x.


A lipoxygenase has been purified from rabbit reticulocyte-rich anaemic blood cells. It possesses a molecular weight of 78 000 and an isoelectric point of 5.5 and contains 5% neutral sugars and two iron atoms per enzyme molecule. The lipoxygenase has proved to be identical with the inhibitors of respiratory proteins described formerly. The actions of the lipoxygenase on linoleic acid, phospholipids, mitochondrial and erythrocyte membranes and electron transfer particles were studied. A special feature of the reticulocyte lipoxygenase is the suicidal character of its action on lipids. With electron transfer particles the reticulocyte lipoxygenase causes a loss of acid-labile sulfur which accompanies respiratory inhibition; the strong respiratory inhibition is not exerted by soybean lipoxygenase. The reticulocyte lipoxygenase acts preferably on mitochondrial membranes as compared with cell membranes of the erythrocyte; erythrocyte cytosol moderates the action on mitochondrial membranes. Furthermore, the lipoxygenase reaction can concomitantly and irreversibly inactivate sulfhydryl enzymes as demonstrated with muscle glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. The occurrence of the lipoxygenase here described is restricted to reticulocytes; very low amounts were observed in bone marrow and no lipoxygenase was detectable in normal blood. During the course of an experimental anaemia the lipoxygenase is produced owing to superinduction in large amounts, which may persist for a long time since they escape inactivation. Preliminary evidence was obtained for the occurrence of other lipoxygenases in tissues of lung, spleen, kidney and also epithelial tumours.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Anemia / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Electron Transport
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Hydrolysis
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lipoxygenase / blood*
  • Lipoxygenase / isolation & purification
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Heart / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Reticulocytes / enzymology*
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Lipoxygenase