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Volume 10, Pages 655-675
Review Article

Anti-Inflammatory Prostanoids: Focus on the Interactions between Electrophile Signaling and Resolution of Inflammation

Department of Chemical and Physical Biology, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain

Received 4 December 2009; Revised 19 March 2010; Accepted 25 March 2010

Academic Editor: Joan Clària

Copyright © 2010 Beatriz Díez-Dacal and Dolores Pérez-Sala.


Prostanoids are products of cyclooxygenase biosynthetic pathways and constitute a family of lipidic mediators of widely diverse structures and biological actions. Besides their known proinflammatory role, numerous works have revealed the anti-inflammatory effects of various prostanoids and established their role in the resolution of inflammation. Among these, prostaglandins with cyclopentenone structure (cyPG) are electrophilic lipids that may act through various mechanisms, including the activation of nuclear and membrane receptors and, importantly, direct addition to protein cysteine residues and modification of protein function. Due to their ability to influence cysteine modification–mediated signaling, cyPG may play a critical role in the interplay between redox and inflammatory signaling pathways. Moreover, cellular redox status modulates cyPG addition to proteins; thus, a reciprocal regulation exists between these two factors. After initial controversy, it is becoming clear that endogenous cyPG are generated at concentrations sufficient to promote inflammatory resolution. As for other prostanoids, cyPG effects are highly dependent on context factors and they may exert pro- or anti-inflammatory actions in a cell type–dependent manner, or even biphasic or dual actions in a given cell type or tissue. In light of the growing number of cyPG protein targets identified, cyPG resemble other pleiotropic mediators acting through protein modification. However, their complex structure results in an inter- and intramolecular selectivity of the residues being modified, thus opening the way for structure-activity and drug discovery studies. Detailed characterization of cyPG interactions with cellular proteins will help us to understand their mechanism of action fully and establish their therapeutic potential in inflammation.