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The sensitivity of Coxs (cyclo-oxygenases) to inhibition is known to be highly dependent on assay conditions. In the present study, the inhibitor sensitivities of purified Cox-1 and -2 were determined in a colorimetric assay using the reducing agent N, N, N ', N '-tetramethyl- p -phenylenediamine. With the detergent genapol X-100 (2 mM) present, the potencies of nimesulide, ibuprofen, flufenamic acid, niflumic acid and naproxen were increased over 100-fold against Cox-2 and titration curve shapes changed, so that maximal inhibition now approached 100%. Indomethacin, diclofenac and flosulide were not changed in potency. Similar effects of genapol were observed with inhibitors of Cox-1. DuP-697 and two analogues became more than 10-fold less potent against Cox-2 with genapol present. Tween-20, Triton X-100 and phosphatidylcholine, but not octylglucoside, gave qualitatively similar effects as genapol. Similar detergent-dependent changes in inhibitor potency were also observed using a [(14)C]arachidonic acid HPLC assay. The increases in potency of ibuprofen, flufenamic acid, isoxicam and niflumic acid towards Cox-2 and ibuprofen towards Cox-1 were accompanied by a change from time-independent to time-dependent inhibition. The interactions of Cox inhibitors has been described in terms of multiple binding step mechanisms. The genapol-dependent increase in inhibitor potency for ketoprofen was associated with an increase in the rate constant for the conversion of the initial enzyme-inhibitor complex to a second, more tightly bound form. The loss of potency for some inhibitors is probably due to inhibitor partitioning into detergent micelles. The present study identifies detergents as another factor that must be considered when determining inhibitor potencies against both Cox isoforms.


Marc Ouellet, Jean-Pierre Falgueyret, M David Percival. Detergents profoundly affect inhibitor potencies against both cyclo-oxygenase isoforms. The Biochemical journal. 2004 Feb 1;377(Pt 3):675-84

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PMID: 14510637

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