Day 22 (1q25.2-1q31.1): COX-2, an inflammation and pain protein that’s tricky to turn off

Day 22 has 44 protein-coding genes, including PTGS2 (prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2), also known as COX-2. The COX proteins COX-1 and COX-2 are both associated with pain and inflammation, and NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen work by inhibiting both of them.

Besides causing pain and inflammation, COX-1 also plays an role in protecting the stomach, which is why many NSAIDs can irritate the stomach lining. COX-2, by contrast, is only expressed during inflammation, which made COX-2 an attractive drug target. Unfortunately, some COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Click here to see Day 22 with your PTGS2 gene underlined.

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