Identification of 5,6-trans-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid in the phospholipids of red blood cells

Houli Jiang, John C. McGiff, John Quilley, David Sacerdoti, L. Manmohan Reddy, J R Falck, Fan Zhang, Kenneth M. Lerea, Patrick Y K Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A novel eicosanoid, 5,6-trans-epoxy-8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatrienoic acid (5,6-ireres-EET), was identified in rat red blood cells. Characterization of 5,6-frewis-EET in the sn-2 position of the phespholipids was accomplished by hydrolysis with phospholipase A2 followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as well as electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry analyses. The electron ionisation spectrum of 5,6-erythro- dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (5,6-erythro-DHET), converted from 5,6-trans-EET in the samples, matches that of the authentic standard. Hydrogenation of the extracted 5,6-erythro-DHET with platinum(IV) oxide/hydrogen resulted in an increase of the molecular mass by 6 daltons and the same retention time shift as an authentic standard in gas chromatography, suggesting the existence of three olefins as well as the 5,6-erythro-dihydrosyl structure in the metabolite. Match of retention times by chromatography indicated identity of the stereochemistry of the red blood cell 5,6-erythro-DHET vis à vis the synthetic standard. High pressure liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of the phospholipase A2-hydrolyzed lipid extracts from red blood cells revealed match of the mass spectrum and retention time of the compound with the authentic 5,6-trans-EET standard, providing direct evidence of the existence of 5,6-trans-EET in red blood cells. The presence of other trans-EETs was also demonstrated. The ability of both 5,6-trans-EET and its product 5,6-erythro-DHET to relax precoastricted renal interlobar arteries was significantly greater than that of 5,6-cis-EET. In contrast, 5,6-cis-EKT and 5,6-iroras-EET were equipotent in their capacity to inhibit collagen-induced rat platelet aggregation, whereas 5,6-erythro-DHET was without effect. We propose that the red blood cells serve as a reservoir for epoxides which on release may act in a vasoregulatory capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36412-36418
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 27 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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