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The investigation of lipoxygenases as therapeutic targets in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Oguh-Olayinka, Lily; Agarwal, Vijay; Ranatunge, Dulani; Campbell, Anne; Laufer, Stefan; Cawkwell, Lynn; Lind, Michael J.


Lily Oguh-Olayinka

Vijay Agarwal

Dulani Ranatunge

Anne Campbell

Stefan Laufer

Lynn Cawkwell

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Professor Michael Lind
Foundation Professor of Oncology/ Head of the Joint Centre for Cancer Studies


Advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has an extremely poor prognosis with limited chemotherapy options, therefore the identification of new therapeutic targets would aid in disease management. Arachidonic acid is metabolised by cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes. The lipoxygenase isoenzymes 5-LOX and 12-LOX have been implicated in carcinogenesis. We aimed to examine 5-LOX and 12-LOX protein expression in a large retrospective series of mesothelioma samples. Further to this, the in vitro cytotoxic effects of lipoxygenase pathway inhibitors were investigated in mesothelioma cells. Archival samples from 83 patients with MPM were examined by immunohistochemistry for expression of the 5-LOX and 12-LOX proteins. The MTS assay was used to assess cell viability following 72h treatment with the lipoxygenase pathway inhibitors baicalein, licofelone, MK-886 and zileuton in the MPM cell lines NCI-H2052, NCI-H2452 and MSTO-211H. Positive 12-LOX protein expression was recorded in 69/83 (83%) and positive 5-LOX expression was observed in 56/77 (73%) of MPM tissue samples. Co-expression of 5-LOX with 12-LOX was seen in 46/78 (58%) of MPM samples. Positive expression of 5-LOX, 12-LOX and COX-2 proteins was identified in the NCI-H2052, NCI-H2452 and MSTO-211H MPM cell lines. Baicalein (12-LOX and 15-LOX inhibitor) was effective in 3/3 MPM cell lines at low concentrations with an IC50 range of 9.6μM to 20.7μM. We have demonstrated that the 5-LOX and 12-LOX proteins are expressed in a significant proportion of MPM samples (73% and 83% respectively) and may represent novel therapeutic targets in this disease. We have demonstrated that the inhibition of the LOX pathway using baicalein may be effective as a novel treatment for MPM, however further human pharmacokinetic studies are required in order to establish whether the concentration used in vitro is clinically achievable.


Oguh-Olayinka, L., Agarwal, V., Ranatunge, D., Campbell, A., Laufer, S., Cawkwell, L., & Lind, M. J. (2020). The investigation of lipoxygenases as therapeutic targets in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pathology and Oncology Research, 26(2), 985-995.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 2, 2019
Publication Date Apr 1, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Pathology and Oncology Research
Print ISSN 1219-4956
Electronic ISSN 1532-2807
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 985-995
Keywords Arachidonic acid; Cyclooxygenase; Immunohistochemistry; Lipoxygenase; Mesothelioma
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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2019<br /> Open Access<br /> This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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