4‑Hydroxy-7-oxo-5-heptenoic Acid (HOHA) Lactone is a Biologically Active Precursor for the Generation of 2‑(ω-Carboxyethyl)pyrrole (CEP) Derivatives of Proteins and Ethanolamine Phospholipids

2-(ω-Carboxyethyl)­pyrrole (CEP) derivatives of proteins were previously shown to have significant pathological and physiological relevance to age-related macular degeneration, cancer and wound healing. Previously, we showed that CEPs are generated in the reaction of ε-amino groups of protein lysyl residues with 1-palmityl-2-(4-hydroxy-7-oxo-5-heptenoyl)-<i>sn</i>-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (HOHA-PC), a lipid oxidation product uniquely generated by oxidative truncation of docosahexanenate-containing phosphatidylcholine. More recently, we found that HOHA-PC rapidly releases HOHA-lactone and 2-lyso-PC (<i>t</i><sub>1/2</sub> = 30 min at 37 °C) by nonenzymatic transesterification/deacylation. Now we report that HOHA-lactone reacts with Ac-Gly-Lys-OMe or human serum albumin to form CEP derivatives in vitro. Incubation of human red blood cell ghosts with HOHA-lactone generates CEP derivatives of membrane proteins and ethanolamine phospholipids. Quantitative analysis of the products generated in the reaction HOHA-PC with Ac-Gly-Lys-OMe showed that HOHA-PC mainly forms CEP-dipeptide that is not esterified to 2-lysophosphatidycholine. Thus, the HOHA-lactone pathway predominates over the direct reaction of HOHA-PC to produce the CEP-PC-dipeptide derivative. Myleoperoxidase/H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>/NO<sub>2</sub><sup>–</sup> promoted in vitro oxidation of either 1-palmityl-2-docosahexaneoyl-<i>sn</i>-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DHA-PC) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) generates HOHA-lactone in yields of 0.45% and 0.78%, respectively. Lipid oxidation in human red blood cell ghosts also releases HOHA-lactone. Oxidative injury of ARPE-19 human retinal pigmented epithelial cells by exposure to H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> generated CEP derivatives. Treatment of ARPE-19 cells with HOHA-lactone generated CEP-modified proteins. Low (submicromolar), but not high, concentrations of HOHA-lactone promote increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion by ARPE-19 cells. Therefore, HOHA-lactone not only serves as an intermediate for the generation of CEPs but also is a biologically active oxidative truncation product from docosahexaenoate lipids.