Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School



Prostaglandin H2 synthase (PGHS) catalyzes the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandin endoperoxide (PGH2), which is a precursor to a variety of prostaglandins that function as hormones. Gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry is employed to look for the novel products produced by reaction of triphenylphosphine with arachidonic acid prior to and during the PGHS reaction. Triphenylphosphine (TPP) is known to reduce hydro peroxides to alcohols and is used in the present study to ascertain the extent to which hydroperoxides in arachidonic acid preparations and in PGHS contribute to enzyme activity. Incubation of PGHS with arachidonic acid that was treated with triphenylphosphine resulted in two peaks. One of the peaks was identified as Prostaglandin E2, the well-characterized metabolite of PGHS activity. PGHS metabolism of arachidonic acid in the presence of TPP resulted in production of a new metabolite that was identified as 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid.

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