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Hydrolysis of prostaglandin glycerol esters by the endocannabinoid-hydrolyzing enzymes, monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can oxygenate the endocannabinoids, arachidonyl ethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), to prostaglandin-H2-ethanolamide (PGH2-EA) and -glycerol ester (PGH2-G), respectively. Further metabolism of PGH2-EA and PGH2-G by prostaglandin synthases produces a variety of prostaglandin-EA's and prostaglandin-G's nearly as diverse as those derived from arachidonic acid. Thus, COX-2 may regulate endocannabinoid levels in neurons during retrograde signaling or produce novel endocannabinoid metabolites for receptor activation. Endocannabinoid-metabolizing enzymes are important regulators of their action, so we tested whether PG-G levels may be regulated by monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). We found that PG-Gs are poor substrates for purified MGL and FAAH compared to 2-AG and/or AEA. Determination of substrate specificity demonstrates a 30-100- and 150-200-fold preference of MGL and FAAH for 2-AG over PG-Gs, respectively. The substrate specificity of AEA compared to those of PG-Gs was approximately 200-300 fold higher for FAAH. Thus, PG-Gs are poor substrates for the major endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes, MGL and FAAH.

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