Lipoxygenases and their involvement in programmed cell death

M. Maccarrone, G. Melino, A. Finazzi-Agrò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipoxygenases are a family of enzymes which dioxygenate unsaturated fatty acids, thus initiating lipoperoxidation of membranes and the synthesis of signaling molecules. Consequently, they induce structural and metabolic changes in the cell in a number of pathophysiological conditions. Recently, a pro-apoptotic effect of lipoxygenase, and of the hydroperoxides produced thereof, has been reported in different cells and tissues, leading to cell death. Anti-apoptotic effects of lipoxygenases have also been reported; however, this has often been based on the use of enzyme inhibitors. Here we review the characteristics of the lipoxygenase family and its involvement in the initiation of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Finally, we discuss the role of lipoxygenase activation in apoptosis of animal and plant cells, suggesting a common signal transduction pathway in cell death conserved through evolution of both kingdoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-784
Number of pages9
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Arachidonate
  • Calcium
  • Membranes
  • Mitochondrial uncoupling
  • Peroxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Lipoxygenases and their involvement in programmed cell death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this