2017 Volume 93 Issue 9 Pages 703-723
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) exert their anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects by reducing prostaglandin (PG) production via the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX). However, the gastrointestinal, renal and cardiovascular side effects associated with the pharmacological inhibition of the COX enzymes have focused renewed attention onto other potential targets for NSAIDs. PGH2, a COX metabolite, is converted to each PG species by species-specific PG terminal synthases. Because of their potential for more selective modulation of PG production, PG terminal synthases are now being investigated as a novel target for NSAIDs. In this review, I summarize the current understanding of PG terminal synthases, with a focus on microsomal PGE synthase-1 (mPGES-1) and PGI synthase (PGIS). mPGES-1 and PGIS cooperatively exacerbate inflammatory reactions but have opposing effects on carcinogenesis. mPGES-1 and PGIS are expected to be attractive alternatives to COX as therapeutic targets for several diseases, including inflammatory diseases and cancer.