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Lipidomics Reveals Dramatic Physiological Kinetic Isotope Effects during the Enzymatic Oxygenation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Ex Vivo


Arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4) is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and the main precursor to the class of lipid mediators known as eicosanoids. The enzymes that catalyze the oxygenation of AA begin by abstracting hydrogen from one of three bis-allylic carbons within 1,4-cis,cis-diene units. Substitution of deuterium for hydrogen has been shown to lead to massive kinetic isotope effects (KIE) for soybean lipoxygenase (sLOX) oxygenation of linoleic acid (LA, 18:2). Yet, experimental determination of the KIE during oxygenation of AA and LA by mammalian enzymes including cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) has revealed far lower values. All prior studies investigating the KIE of PUFA oxygenation have relied on in vitro systems using purified enzymes and were limited by availability of deuterated substrates. Here we demonstrate the use of macrophages as an ex vivo model system to study the physiological KIE (PKIE) during enzymatic AA oxygenation by living cells using a newly synthesized library of deuterated AA isotopologues. By extending lipidomic UPLC-MS/MS approaches to simultaneously quantify native and deuterated lipid products, we were able to demonstrate that the magnitude of the PKIE measured in macrophages for COX and LOX oxygenation of AA is similar to KIEs determined in previous reports using the AA isotopologue deuterated at carbon 13 (C13). However, for the first time we show that increasing the number of deuterated bis-allylic carbons to include both C10 and C13 leads to a massive increase in the PKIE for COX oxygenation of AA. We provide evidence that hydrogen(s) present at C10 of AA play a critical role in the catalysis of prostaglandin and thromboxane synthesis. Furthermore, we discovered that deuteration of C10 promotes the formation of the resolving lipid mediator lipoxin B4, likely by interfering with AA cyclization and shunting AA to the LOX pathway under physiological conditions.

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