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Cyclooxygenase (COX) Inhibition Assays

Cyclooxygenases inhibitors are among the important targets for treatment of inflammation related diseases. COX has two well-known isoforms, COX-1 and COX-2, which are similar in their amino-acid sequences and identity. COX-2 predominates at sites of inflammation, and COX-1 is constitutively expressed in most tissues including gastrointestinal tract. It is reported that selective COX-2 inhibitors can target inflammation and pain with reduced risk of chronic ulceration and acute injury, where COX-1 inhibitors typically possess anti-inflammation effect but with gastric side-effects (e.g., hemorrhagic side effect).

A classic example of anti-inflammatory material via COX inhibition is aspirin, a salicylates class of drug that has been demonstrated to counter inflammation via COX inhibition. This treatment scheme aligns with an ancient Greek remedy which uses willow bark extract (now known as a rich source of salicylic acid)  for pain relief.

In our investigation, we focus on evaluating COX inhibition effect of nutraceutical materials for potential anti-inflammation function. Through this investigation, we concentrate on assessing the COX inhibition capability of a material by monitoring its impact on the activity of a COX enzymes. Inhibition potential of two main COX enzymes can be investigated:

  • COX-1
  • COX-2