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Biosynthesis and Fate of Endocannabinoids

  • Maria Grazia CascioEmail author
  • Pietro Marini
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 231)

Abstract

Since the discovery of the two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, several molecules, commonly defined as endocannabinoids, able to bind to and functionally activate these receptors, have been discovered and characterized. Although the general thought was that the endocannabinoids were mainly derivatives of the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, recent data have shown that also derivatives (ethanolamides) of n-3 fatty acids may be classified as endocannabinoids. Whether the n-3 endocannabinoids follow the same biosynthetic and metabolic routes of the n-6 endocannabinoids is not yet clear and so warrants further investigation. In this review, we describe the primary biosynthetic and metabolic pathways for the two well-established endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

Keywords

2-arachidonoylglycerol Anandamide Biosynthesis Degradation Endocannabinoids Uptake 

Abbreviations

2-AG

2-Arachidonoylglycerol

2-AGE

2-Arachidonoylglyceryl ether

AA

Arachidonic acid

Abh4

Alpha/beta hydrolase 4

ABHD

Alpha/beta hydrolase domain

AEA

Anandamide

Asp

Aspartic acid

CB

Cannabinoid

Cis

Cysteine

COX-2

Cyclooxygenase-2

DAG

Diacylglycerol

DGL

Diacylglycerol lipase

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

DHEA

Docosahexaenoyl-ethanolamide

DTT

Dithiothreitol

EMT

Endocannabinoid membrane transporter

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

EPEA

Eicosapentaenoyl-ethanolamide

FAAH

Fatty acid amide hydrolase

FABP

Fatty acid binding protein

FLAT

FAAH-like anandamide transporter

GpAEA

Glycerophospho-arachidonoylethanolamide

GPR

G-protein coupled receptor

GSH

Glutathione

HEK

Human embryonic kidney

His

Histidine

Hsp

Heat shock protein

LOX

Lipoxygenase

Lys

Lysine

MAFP

Methylarachidonoylfluorophosphonate

MGL

Monoacylglycerol lipase

NAAA

N-acylethanolamine-selective acid amidase

NADA

N-arachidonoyldopamine

NAE

N-acyl-ethanolamine

NAGly

N-arachidonoylglycine

NAM

N-arachidonoylmaleimide

NAPE

N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine

NArS

N-arachidonoylserine

NAT

N-acyltransferase

OEA

Oleoyethanolamide

OLDA

N-oleoyl dopamine

pAEA

Phosphoanandamide

PE

Phosphatidylethanolamine

PEA

Palmitoylethanolamide

PHARC

Polyneuropathy, hearing loss, ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, cataract

PL

Phospholipase

PPAR

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor

PUFA

Polyunsaturated fatty acid

SEA

Stearoylethanolamide

Ser

Serine

TRPM

Transient receptor potential melastatin

TRPV

Transient receptor potential vanilloid

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medical Sciences, Institute of Medical SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland, UK

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