Resolving the paradox of ferroptotic cell death: Ferrostatin-1 binds to 15LOX/PEBP1 complex, suppresses generation of peroxidized ETE-PE, and protects against ferroptosis

Redox Biol. 2021 Jan;38:101744. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2020.101744. Epub 2020 Oct 16.


Hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (HpETE-PE) is a ferroptotic cell death signal. HpETE-PE is produced by the 15-Lipoxygenase (15LOX)/Phosphatidylethanolamine Binding Protein-1 (PEBP1) complex or via an Fe-catalyzed non-enzymatic radical reaction. Ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1), a common ferroptosis inhibitor, is a lipophilic radical scavenger but a poor 15LOX inhibitor arguing against 15LOX having a role in ferroptosis. In the current work, we demonstrate that Fer-1 does not affect 15LOX alone, however, it effectively inhibits HpETE-PE production by the 15LOX/PEBP1 complex. Computational molecular modeling shows that Fer-1 binds to the 15LOX/PEBP1 complex at three sites and could disrupt the catalytically required allosteric motions of the 15LOX/PEBP1 complex. Using nine ferroptosis cell/tissue models, we show that HpETE-PE is produced by the 15LOX/PEBP1 complex and resolve the long-existing Fer-1 anti-ferroptotic paradox.

Keywords: 15-Lipoxygenase; Ferroptosis; Ferrostatin-1; Hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoyl-phosphatidylethanolamines; Phospholipid peroxidation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Death
  • Cyclohexylamines
  • Ferroptosis*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenylenediamines


  • Cyclohexylamines
  • Phenylenediamines
  • ferrostatin-1