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Human soluble epoxide hydrolase (hsEH) is an enzyme responsible for the inactivation of bioactive epoxy fatty acids, and its inhibition is emerging as a promising therapeutical strategy to target hypertension, cardiovascular disease, pain and insulin sensitivity. Here, we uncover the molecular bases of hsEH inhibition mediated by the endogenous 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-Prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2). Our data reveal a dual inhibitory mechanism, whereby hsEH can be inhibited by reversible docking of 15d-PGJ2 in the catalytic pocket, as well as by covalent locking of the same compound onto cysteine residues C423 and C522, remote to the active site. Biophysical characterisations allied with in silico investigations indicate that the covalent modification of the reactive cysteines may be part of a hitherto undiscovered allosteric regulatory mechanism of the enzyme. This study provides insights into the molecular modes of inhibition of hsEH epoxy-hydrolytic activity and paves the way for the development of new allosteric inhibitors.

Original publication




Journal article


Communications biology

Publication Date





1Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics, School of Basic and Medical Biosciences, King's College London, London, SE1 1UL UK.