Epoxide hydrolases: their roles and interactions with lipid metabolism

Prog Lipid Res. 2005 Jan;44(1):1-51. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2004.10.001. Epub 2005 Jan 25.


The epoxide hydrolases (EHs) are enzymes present in all living organisms, which transform epoxide containing lipids by the addition of water. In plants and animals, many of these lipid substrates have potent biologically activities, such as host defenses, control of development, regulation of inflammation and blood pressure. Thus the EHs have important and diverse biological roles with profound effects on the physiological state of the host organisms. Currently, seven distinct epoxide hydrolase sub-types are recognized in higher organisms. These include the plant soluble EHs, the mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolase, the hepoxilin hydrolase, leukotriene A4 hydrolase, the microsomal epoxide hydrolase, and the insect juvenile hormone epoxide hydrolase. While our understanding of these enzymes has progressed at different rates, here we discuss the current state of knowledge for each of these enzymes, along with a distillation of our current understanding of their endogenous roles. By reviewing the entire enzyme class together, both commonalities and discrepancies in our understanding are highlighted and important directions for future research pertaining to these enzymes are indicated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Plants / enzymology


  • Epoxide Hydrolases
  • cholesterol-5 alpha,6 alpha-epoxide hydrase
  • hepoxilin epoxide hydrolase
  • juvenile hormone epoxide hydrolase
  • leukotriene A4 hydrolase