Cyclopentenone prostaglandins: new insights on biological activities and cellular targets

Med Res Rev. 2001 May;21(3):185-210. doi: 10.1002/med.1006.


The cyclopentenone prostaglandins PGA2, PGA1, and PGJ2 are formed by dehydration within the cyclopentane ring of PGE2, PGE1, and PGD2. PGJ2 is metabolized further to yield Delta(12)-PGJ(2) and 15-deoxy-Delta(12,14)-PGJ(2) (15d-PGJ(2)). Various compounds within the cyclopentenone prostaglandin family possess potent anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplastic, and anti-viral activity. Most actions of the cyclopentenone prostaglandins do not appear to be mediated by binding to G-protein coupled prostanoid receptors. Rather, the bioactivity of these compounds results from their interaction with other cellular target proteins. 15-deoxy-Delta(12,14)-PGJ(2) is a high affinity ligand for the nuclear receptor PPARgamma and modulates gene transcription by binding to this receptor. Other activities of the cyclopentenone prostaglandins are mediated by the reactive alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl group located in the cyclopentenone ring. The transcription factor NF-kappaB and its activating kinase are key targets for the anti-inflammatory activity of 15d-PGJ2, which inhibits NF-kappaB-mediated transcriptional activation by PPARgamma-dependent and independent molecular mechanisms. Other cyclopentenone prostaglandins, such as Delta(7)-PGA1 and Delta(12)-PGJ2, have strong anti-tumor activity. These compounds induce cell cycle arrest or apoptosis of tumor cells depending on the cell type and treatment conditions. We review here recent progress in understanding the mechanisms of action of the cyclopentenone prostaglandins and their possible use as therapeutic agents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclopentanes / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Prostaglandins / biosynthesis
  • Prostaglandins / chemistry
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • Prostaglandins / pharmacology*


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Prostaglandins
  • cyclopentenone