Evolutionary alteration of ALOX15 specificity optimizes the biosynthesis of antiinflammatory and proresolving lipoxins

Susan Adel, Felix Karst, Àngels González-Lafont, Mária Pekárová, Patricia Saura, Laura Masgrau, José M. Lluch, Sabine Stehling, Thomas Horn, Hartmut Kuhn, Dagmar Heydeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


ALOX15 (12/15-lipoxygenase) orthologs have been implicated in maturational degradation of intracellular organelles and in the biosynthesis of antiinflammatory and proresolving eicosanoids. Here we hypothesized that lower mammals (mice, rats, pigs) express 12-lipoxygenating ALOX15 orthologs. In contrast, 15- lipoxygenating isoforms are found in higher primates (orangutans, men), and these results suggest an evolution of ALOX15 specificity. To test this hypothesis we first cloned and characterized ALOX15 orthologs of selected Catarrhini representing different stages of late primate evolution and found that higher primates (men, chimpanzees) express 15-lipoxygenating orthologs. In contrast, lower primates (baboons, rhesus monkeys) express 12- lipoxygenating enzymes. Gibbons, which are flanked in evolution by rhesus monkeys (12-lipoxygenating ALOX15) and orangutans (15-lipoxygenating ALOX15), express an ALOX15 ortholog with pronounced dual specificity. To explore the driving force for this evolutionary alterations, we quantified the lipoxin synthase activity of 12-lipoxygenating (rhesusmonkey, mouse, rat, pig, humIle418Ala) and 15-lipoxygenating (man, chimpanzee, orangutan, rabbit, ratPhe353Ala) ALOX15 variants and found that, when normalized to their arachidonic acid oxygenase activities, the lipoxin synthase activities of 15-lipoxygenating ALOX15 variants were more than fivefold higher (P < 0.01). Comparative molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations indicated that, for the 15-lipoxygenating rabbit ALOX15, the energy barrier for C13-hydrogen abstraction (15-lipoxygenation) was 17 kJ/mol lower than for arachidonic acid 12-lipoxygenation. In contrast, for the 12-lipoxygenating Ile418Ala mutant, the energy barrier for 15- lipoxygenation was 10 kJ/mol higher than for 12-lipoxygenation. Taken together, our data suggest an evolution of ALOX15 specificity, which is aimed at optimizing the biosynthetic capacity for antiinflammatory and proresolving lipoxins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E4266-E4275
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2016


  • Eicosanoids
  • Evolution
  • Inflammation
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Protein design


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolutionary alteration of ALOX15 specificity optimizes the biosynthesis of antiinflammatory and proresolving lipoxins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this