Phospholipase A2 catalysis and lipid mediator lipidomics

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2019 Jun;1864(6):766-771. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2018.08.010. Epub 2018 Aug 23.


Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes are the upstream regulators of the eicosanoid pathway liberating free arachidonic acid from the sn-2 position of membrane phospholipids. Free intracellular arachidonic acid serves as a substrate for the eicosanoid biosynthetic enzymes including cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenases, and cytochrome P450s that lead to inflammation. The Group IVA cytosolic (cPLA2), Group VIA calcium-independent (iPLA2), and Group V secreted (sPLA2) are three well-characterized human enzymes that have been implicated in eicosanoid formation. In this review, we will introduce and summarize the regulation of catalytic activity and cellular localization, structural characteristics, interfacial activation and kinetics, substrate specificity, inhibitor binding and interactions, and the downstream implications for eicosanoid biosynthesis of these three important PLA2 enzymes.

Keywords: Catalytic mechanism; HD-XMS; LC/MS assays; Molecular dynamics; Phospholipase; Substrate specificity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Catalysis
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipidomics / methods
  • Phospholipases A2 / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Phospholipases A2