12-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid

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12-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) is a derivative of the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid. It is an eicosanoid, a family of biologically active compounds that have diverse roles in human physiology and pathology.

Biosynthesis[edit | edit source]

12-HETE is synthesized from arachidonic acid by the enzyme 12-lipoxygenase. This enzyme catalyzes the insertion of oxygen into arachidonic acid at the 12th carbon, forming 12-HETE. The process is part of the larger lipoxygenase pathway, which is responsible for the formation of a number of different eicosanoids.

Biological roles[edit | edit source]

12-HETE has a variety of biological roles. It is involved in the regulation of platelet aggregation, vasoconstriction, and inflammation. It also plays a role in the progression of certain diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.

In cancer, 12-HETE has been found to promote tumor growth and metastasis. It does this by stimulating angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, which provides the tumor with nutrients and oxygen. In atherosclerosis, 12-HETE contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques by promoting the adhesion of monocytes to the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels. In diabetes, 12-HETE has been implicated in the development of diabetic nephropathy, a kidney disease that can occur in people with diabetes.

Therapeutic potential[edit | edit source]

Given its involvement in various diseases, 12-HETE is a potential target for therapeutic intervention. Drugs that inhibit the synthesis of 12-HETE or block its actions could potentially be used to treat cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. However, more research is needed to fully understand the roles of 12-HETE in these diseases and to develop effective therapies.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD