Microsomal prostaglandin synthase (EC 22.214.171.124) from rabbit kidney medulla was assayed with [5,6,8,9,11,12,14,15-3H]-and [1-14C]-arachidonic acid as the substrate. The ratios of prostaglandin F2α to prostaglandin E2 and to prostaglandin D2 were determined by both 3H and 14C labelling. When 3H was used as a label the ratios were much higher than with 14C labelling indicating that the removal of hydrogen at C-9 or C-11 was the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of prostaglandin E2 or prostaglandin D2. This finding shows that the octatritiated arachidonic acid is not the appropriate substrate marker for studying the regulation of the synthesis of different prostaglandins by various agents. When the enzyme assay was carried out in the presence of SnCl2, which was capable of accumulating exclusively prostaglandin F2α at the expenses of prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin D2, the addition of L-adrenaline to the microsomal fraction either alone or with reduced glutathione equally stimulated the formation of prostaglandin F2α, whereas the addition of reduced glutathione to the microsomal fraction either alone or with L-adrenaline produced no additional effect. These results suggest that endoperoxide is formed as the common intermediate for the biosynthesis of three different prostaglandins in rabbit kidney medulla, and that L-adrenaline stimulates the synthesis of endoperoxide, whereas reduced glutathione facilitates the formation of prostaglandins from endoperoxide.
- © 1976 London: The Biochemical Society