Review Article

Different Chemical Structures and Physiological/Pathological Roles of Cyclooxygenases

Yalcin Faki and Ayse Er


This review describes cyclooxygenase (COX), which synthesizes prostanoids that play an important role in living things. The authors conducted a national and international literature review on the subject. The COX enzyme uses arachidonic acid to form prostanoids, which play a role in several physiological and pathological conditions. This enzyme has different isoforms, mainly COX-1 and COX-2. The constitutive isoform is COX-1, while COX-2 is the inducible isoform. Both are expressed in different tissues and at different levels, but they may also coexist within the same tissue. Both isoforms show essentially the same mode of action, but their substrates and inhibitors may differ. The COX-1 isoform, which plays a role in the continuation of physiological events, has an increased expression level in various carcinomas, and the COX-2 isoform, which is increased in inflammatory conditions, is typically expressed at low physiological levels in some tissues such as the brain, kidney, and uterus. In addition to investigating the efficacies of the COX-1 and COX-2 isoforms, the discovery of potential new COX enzymes and their effect continues. This review also looks at the roles of the COX enzyme in certain physiological and pathological conditions.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2021;12(1):e0003