Aspirin exerts its anti-inflammatory effects through selective acetylation of serine 530 on prostaglandin H2 synthase (PGHS). Here we present the 3.4 A resolution X-ray crystal structure of PGHS isoform-1 inactivated by the potent aspirin analogue 2-bromoacetoxy-benzoic acid. Acetylation by this analogue abolishes cyclooxygenase activity by steric blockage of the active-site channel and not through a large conformational change. We observe two rotameric states of the acetyl-serine side chain which block the channel to different extents, a result which may explain the dissimilar effects of aspirin on the two PGHS isoforms. We also observe the product salicylic acid binding at a site consistent with its antagonistic effect on aspirin activity.
The structural basis of aspirin activity inferred from the crystal structure of inactivated prostaglandin H2 synthase.,Loll PJ, Picot D, Garavito RM Nat Struct Biol. 1995 Aug;2(8):637-43. PMID:7552725
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