Ishikawa, T.O., and Herschman, H.R. (2007) Two inducible, functional cyclooxygenase-2 genes are present in the rainbow trout genome. Journal of cellular biochemistry. 102(6):1486-1492.
The cyclooxygenases (Cox) catalyze the initial reactions in prostanoid biosynthesis, and produce the common prostanoids precursor, PGH(2). Mammalian species have two Cox isoforms; constitutively expressed cyclooxygenase-1 (Cox-1) and inducible cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2). Database searches suggest three Cox genes are present in many fish species. In this study, we cloned and characterized a second Cox-2 cDNA, Cox-2b, from the rainbow trout. Rainbow trout Cox-2b protein contains all the functionally important conserved amino acids for Cox enzyme activity. Moreover, the Cox-2b message contains AU-rich elements (AREs) in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) characteristic of inducible Cox-2 mRNAs. We took advantage of the existence of a rainbow trout cell line to demonstrate that expression from both the originally reported Cox-2 (Cox-2a) and Cox-2b genes is inducible. However, differential induction responses to alternative inducers are observed for rainbow trout Cox-2a and Cox-2b. Both Cox-2a and Cox-2b proteins expressed in COS cells are enzymatically active. Thus the rainbow trout has two functional, inducible Cox-2 genes. The zebrafish also contains two Cox-2 genes. However, genome structure analysis suggests diversion of the Cox-2a gene between zebrafish and rainbow trout.