Redox biology

Functional characterization of genetic enzyme variations in human lipoxygenases.

PMID 24282679


Mammalian lipoxygenases play a role in normal cell development and differentiation but they have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular, hyperproliferative and neurodegenerative diseases. As lipid peroxidizing enzymes they are involved in the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis since they produce lipid hydroperoxides, which serve as an efficient source for free radicals. There are various epidemiological correlation studies relating naturally occurring variations in the six human lipoxygenase genes (SNPs or rare mutations) to the frequency for various diseases in these individuals, but for most of the described variations no functional data are available. Employing a combined bioinformatical and enzymological strategy, which included structural modeling and experimental site-directed mutagenesis, we systematically explored the structural and functional consequences of non-synonymous genetic variations in four different human lipoxygenase genes (ALOX5, ALOX12, ALOX15, and ALOX15B) that have been identified in the human 1000 genome project. Due to a lack of a functional expression system we resigned to analyze the functionality of genetic variations in the hALOX12B and hALOXE3 gene. We found that most of the frequent non-synonymous coding SNPs are located at the enzyme surface and hardly alter the enzyme functionality. In contrast, genetic variations which affect functional important amino acid residues or lead to truncated enzyme variations (nonsense mutations) are usually rare with a global allele frequency<0.1%. This data suggest that there appears to be an evolutionary pressure on the coding regions of the lipoxygenase genes preventing the accumulation of loss-of-function variations in the human population.