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Murine Alox8 versus the human ALOX15B ortholog: differences and similarities.

Human arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase type B is a lipoxygenase that catalyzes the peroxidation of arachidonic acid at carbon-15. The corresponding murine ortholog however has 8-lipoxygenase activity. Both enzymes oxygenate polyunsaturated fatty acids in S-chirality with singular reaction specificity, although they generate a different product pattern. Furthermore, while both enzymes utilize both esterified fatty acids and fatty acid hydro(pero)xides as substrates, they differ with respect to the orientation of the fatty acid in their substrate-binding pocket. While ALOX15B accepts the fatty acid "tail-first," Alox8 oxygenates the free fatty acid with its "head-first." These differences in substrate orientation and thus in regio- and stereospecificity are thought to be determined by distinct amino acid residues. Towards their biological function, both enzymes share a commonality in regulating cholesterol homeostasis in macrophages, and Alox8 knockdown is associated with reduced atherosclerosis in mice. Additional roles have been linked to lung inflammation along with tumor suppressor activity. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the enzymatic activity of human ALOX15B and murine Alox8, along with their association with diseases.

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