CYP8A1 is a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes. The cytochrome P450 proteins are monooxygenases which catalyze many reactions involved in drug metabolism and synthesis of cholesterol, steroids and other lipids. However, this protein is considered a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily on the basis of sequence similarity rather than functional similarity. This endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein catalyzes the conversion of prostglandin H2 to prostacyclin (prostaglandin I2), a potent vasodilator and inhibitor of platelet aggregation. An imbalance of prostacyclin and its physiological antagonist thromboxane A2 contribute to the development of myocardial infarction, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
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