Cyclooxygenase (COX), also known as prostaglandin G/H synthase, is a membrane bound enzyme partly responsible for the catalysis of prostanoid synthesis. COX is expressed as at least three different isoforms. COX-2 expression is tightly regulated and induced by inflammatory mediators such as growth factors, cytokines, and endotoxin. COX-3 appears to be much more strictly regulated spatially and is observed in greatest abundance in the cerebral cortex.
COX-1 is an approximately 70 kDa protein that is associated with microsomal membranes. It is constitutively expressed and thought to regulate a number of 'housekeeping' functions such as vascular hemostasis, renal blood flow, and glomerular function. A splice variant of COX-1 is generated by internal deletion of 37 residues. Human COX-1 shares 88% - 90% amino acid sequence identity with mouse and rat COX-1.
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