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Critical Enzymes Involved in Endocannabinoid Metabolism

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Investigations of the pathways involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids have grown exponentially in recent years following the discovery of cannabinoid receptors (CB) and their endogenous ligands, such as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The in vivo biosynthesis of AEA has been shown to occur through several pathways mediated by N-acylphosphatidylethanolamide-phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), a secretory PLA2 and PLC. 2- AG, a second endocannabinoid is generated through the action of selective enzymes such as phosphatidic acid phsophohydrolase, diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL), phosphoinositide-specific PLC (PI-PLC) and lyso-PLC. A putative membrane transporter or facilitated diffusion is involved in the cellular uptake or release of endocannabinoids. AEA is metabolized by fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH) and 2-AG is metabolized by both FAAH and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). The author presents an integrative overview of current research on the enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids and discusses possible therapeutic interventions for various diseases, including addiction.





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Keywords: CB1 receptors; CNS; Endocannabinoids; FAAH; MAGL; NAPE-PLD; alcohol-drinking behavior; therapy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, 140 Old Orangeburg Rd., Orangeburg, NY-10962,USA.

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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