What are the products produced by cyclooxygenase (COX)?

Updated: Feb 19, 2019
  • Author: George T Griffing, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
  • Print


As previously noted, COX metabolizes arachidonic acid (5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid) into PGH2 intermediates. Subsequently, PGH2 is converted into biologically active products via cell-specific enzymatic reactions. The products include not only classic prostaglandins (ie, prostaglandin D2 [PGD2], PGE2, prostaglandin F2-alpha [PGF2-alpha]), but also prostacyclin (PGI2) and thromboxane A2 (TXA2). [11]

Besides these dienoic products, COX metabolizes analogous fatty acids into monoenoic and trienoic prostaglandins and thromboxanes as a consequence of the number of precursor double bonds. Collectively, their diverse properties are implicated in several physiologic processes as receptor-dependent mediators and as intracellular secondary messengers. However, the potencies of different monoenoic, dienoic, and trienoic prostaglandins and thromboxanes vary with respect to each family. Studies emphasize that the products are particularly influential in local biologic environments, because of their rapid conversion to inactive metabolites. Hence, precursor availability and enzyme kinetics play a key role in the regulation of individual responses.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!