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Prostaglandins (PGs) have numerous cardiovascular and inflammatory effects. Cyclo-oxygenase (COX) is the first enzyme in the pathway in which arachidonic acid isconverted to PGs, prostacyclin (PGI2) and thromboxane (TX) A2. Recently, two isoforms ofCOX have been identified, sequenced and cloned. The constitutive isoform (COX-1), encodedby a 2.8kb mRNA, is present in cells under physiological conditions. The other form,mitogen-inducible isoform (COX-2), encoded by a 4.2kb mRNA, is induced by somecytokines, mitogens and endotoxin presumably in pathological conditions, such asinflammation. This review focuses on what is known about the newly described COX-2.
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