MSMEG_0220 from Mycobacterium smegmatis, the ortholog of the Rv0183 gene from M. tuberculosis, recently identified and characterized as encoding a monoacylglycerol lipase, was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein (rMSMEG_0220), which exhibits 68% amino acid sequence identity with Rv0183, showed the same substrate specificity and similar patterns of pH-dependent activity and stability as the M. tuberculosis enzyme. rMSMEG_0220 was found to hydrolyze long-chain monoacylglycerol with a specific activity of 143 ± 6 U mg−1. Like Rv0183 in M. tuberculosis, MSMEG_0220 was found to be located in the cell wall. To assess the in vivo role of the homologous proteins, an MSMEG_0220 disrupted mutant of M. smegmatis (MsΔ0220) was produced. An intriguing change in the colony morphology and in the cell interaction, which were partly restored in the complemented mutant containing either an active (ComMsΔ0220) or an inactive (ComMsΔ0220S111A) enzyme, was observed. Growth studies performed in media supplemented with monoolein showed that the ability of both MsΔ0220 and ComMsΔ0220S111A to grow in the presence of this lipid was impaired. Moreover, studies of the antimicrobial susceptibility of the MsΔ0220 strain showed that this mutant is more sensitive to rifampin and more resistant to isoniazid than the wild-type strain, pointing to a critical structural role of this enzyme in mycobacterial physiology, in addition to its function in the hydrolysis of exogenous lipids.
We report the development of a specific spectrophotometric assay for the quantitative determination of lipase activity in Staphylococcus aureus. The assay is based on the rate of clearance of a tributyrin emulsion, and it can detect as little as 1.0 micrograms of purified Pseudomonas lipase per ml. By comparison with the reaction rates obtained with Pseudomonas lipase, we calculated that S. aureus PS54C and S6C produce approximately 15 and 60 micrograms of extracellular lipase per ml, respectively. Neither PS54, which is lysogenized with the converting bacteriophage L54a and is consequently lipase negative (Lip-), nor KS1905, a Lip- transpositional mutant of strain S6C, was positive in our spectrophotometric assay. The specificity of the spectrophotometric tributyrin assay was confirmed with a triolein plate assay; supernatants from S6C and PS54C hydrolyzed triolein, while supernatants from PS54 and KSI905 did not. In contrast to the results of the spectrophotometric tributyrin assay, all enzyme preparations tested (including commercially purified esterase) were positive when examined by a tributyrin plate assay. The lack of specificity in the tributyrin plate assay emphasizes the need to interpret the results of tributyrin lipolysis kinetically for assessing lipase activity in S. aureus.
Gastric lipase, pancreatic colipase-dependent lipase, and bile salt-stimulated lipase all have potential roles in digestion of human milk triacylglycerol. To reveal the function of each lipase, an in vitro study was carried out with purified lipases and cofactors, and with human milk as substrate. Conditions were chosen to resemble those of the physiologic environment in the gastrointestinal tract of breast-fed infants. Gastric lipase was unique in its ability to initiate hydrolysis of milk triacylglycerol. Activated bile salt-stimulated lipase could not on its own hydrolyze native milk fat globule triacylglycerol, whereas a limited hydrolysis by gastric lipase triggered hydrolysis by bile salt-stimulated lipase. Gastric lipase and colipase-dependent lipase, in combination, hydrolyzed about two thirds of total ester bonds, with monoacylglycerol and fatty acids being the end products. Addition of bile salt-stimulated lipase resulted in hydrolysis also of monoacylglycerol. When acting together with colipase-dependent lipase, bile salt-stimulated lipase contributed also to digestion of tri- and diacylglycerol. We conclude that digestion of human milk triacylglycerol depends on three lipases with unique, only partly overlapping, functions. Their concerted action results in complete digestion with free glycerol and fatty acids as final products.
Background: Monoacylglycerol lipases hydrolyze monoacylglycerols into free fatty acids and glycerols.
Results: Crystal structures provide the structural basis for conformational plasticity and ligand binding of a monoacylglycerol lipase.
Conclusion: Hallmark features responsible for substrate binding and selectivity are conserved across species.
Significance: The first structures of a monoacylglycerol lipase in complex with substrate analogs are presented.
Monoacylglycerol lipases (MGLs) play an important role in lipid catabolism across all kingdoms of life by catalyzing the release of free fatty acids from monoacylglycerols. The three-dimensional structures of human and a bacterial MGL were determined only recently as the first members of this lipase family. In addition to the α/β-hydrolase core, they showed unexpected structural similarities even in the cap region. Nevertheless, the structural basis for substrate binding and conformational changes of MGLs is poorly understood. Here, we present a comprehensive study of five crystal structures of MGL from Bacillus sp. H257 in its free form and in complex with different substrate analogs and the natural substrate 1-lauroylglycerol. The occurrence of different conformations reveals a high degree of conformational plasticity of the cap region. We identify a specific residue, Ile-145, that might act as a gatekeeper restricting access to the binding site. Site-directed mutagenesis of Ile-145 leads to significantly reduced hydrolase activity. Bacterial MGLs in complex with 1-lauroylglycerol, myristoyl, palmitoyl, and stearoyl substrate analogs enable identification of the binding sites for the alkyl chain and the glycerol moiety of the natural ligand. They also provide snapshots of the hydrolytic reaction of a bacterial MGL at different stages. The alkyl chains are buried in a hydrophobic tunnel in an extended conformation. Binding of the glycerol moiety is mediated via Glu-156 and water molecules. Analysis of the structural features responsible for cap plasticity and the binding modes of the ligands suggests conservation of these features also in human MGL.
Crystal Structure; Lipase; Lipids; Lipid Metabolism; Monoacylglycerol; Monoglyceride; X-ray Crystallography; MGL; Phosphonate Inhibitor; Substrate Analogs
Phospholipase C-mediated hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate generates diacylglycerol, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and protons, all of which can regulate TRPV1 activity via different mechanisms. Here we explored the possibility that the diacylglycerol metabolites 2-arachidonoylglycerol and 1-arachidonoylglycerol, and not metabolites of these monoacylglycerols, activate TRPV1 and contribute to this signaling cascade. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol and 1-arachidonoylglycerol activated native TRPV1 on vascular sensory nerve fibers and heterologously expressed TRPV1 in whole cells and inside-out membrane patches. The monoacylglycerol lipase inhibitors methylarachidonoyl-fluorophosphonate and JZL184 prevented the metabolism of deuterium-labeled 2-arachidonoylglycerol and deuterium-labeled 1-arachidonoylglycerol in arterial homogenates, and enhanced TRPV1-mediated vasodilator responses to both monoacylglycerols. In mesenteric arteries from TRPV1 knock-out mice, vasodilator responses to 2-arachidonoylglycerol were minor. Bradykinin and adenosine triphosphate, ligands of phospholipase C-coupled membrane receptors, increased the content of 2-arachidonoylglycerol in dorsal root ganglia. In HEK293 cells expressing the phospholipase C-coupled histamine H1 receptor, exposure to histamine stimulated the formation of 2-AG, and this effect was augmented in the presence of JZL184. These effects were prevented by the diacylglycerol lipase inhibitor tetrahydrolipstatin. Histamine induced large whole cell currents in HEK293 cells co-expressing TRPV1 and the histamine H1 receptor, and the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine abolished these currents. JZL184 increased the histamine-induced currents and tetrahydrolipstatin prevented this effect. The calcineurin inhibitor ciclosporin and the endogenous “entourage” compound palmitoylethanolamide potentiated the vasodilator response to 2-arachidonoylglycerol, disclosing TRPV1 activation of this monoacylglycerol at nanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular injection of JZL184 produced TRPV1-dependent antinociception in the mouse formalin test. Our results show that intact 2-arachidonoylglycerol and 1-arachidonoylglycerol are endogenous TRPV1 activators, contributing to phospholipase C-dependent TRPV1 channel activation and TRPV1-mediated antinociceptive signaling in the brain.
Monoacylglycerol lipases (MGLs) catalyse the hydrolysis of monoacylglycerol into free fatty acid and glycerol. MGLs have been identified throughout all genera of life and have adopted different substrate specificities depending on their physiological role. In humans, MGL plays an integral part in lipid metabolism affecting energy homeostasis, signalling processes and cancer cell progression. In bacteria, MGLs degrade short-chain monoacylglycerols which are otherwise toxic to the organism. We report the crystal structures of MGL from the bacterium Bacillus sp. H257 (bMGL) in its free form at 1.2 Å and in complex with phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride at 1.8 Å resolution. In both structures, bMGL adopts an α/β hydrolase fold with a cap in an open conformation. Access to the active site residues, which were unambiguously identified from the protein structure, is facilitated by two different channels. The larger channel constitutes the highly hydrophobic substrate binding pocket with enough room to accommodate monoacylglycerol. The other channel is rather small and resembles the proposed glycerol exit hole in human MGL. Molecular dynamics simulation of bMGL yielded open and closed states of the entrance channel and the glycerol exit hole. Despite differences in the number of residues, secondary structure elements, and low sequence identity in the cap region, this first structure of a bacterial MGL reveals striking structural conservation of the overall cap architecture in comparison with human MGL. Thus it provides insight into the structural conservation of the cap amongst MGLs throughout evolution and provides a framework for rationalising substrate specificities in each organism.
► First crystal structure of monoacylglycerol lipase from bacterial species. ► Small angle X-ray scattering shows that the protein is a monomer in solution. ► A large hydrophobic channel enables access of the substrate to the active site. ► Molecular dynamic simulations reveal open and closed states of the cap region. ► The cap architecture is conserved on a structural but not on a sequence level.
MGL, monoacylglycerol lipase; bMGL, monoacylglycerol lipase from Bacillus sp. H257; hMGL, human monoacylglycerol lipase; PMSF, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride; SAXS, small angle X-ray scattering; RMSD, root mean square deviation; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; Monoacylglycerol lipase; Open conformation; Evolutionary conservation; X-ray crystallography; Molecular dynamics simulation; Small-angle X-ray scattering
An assay procedure was developed in which phosphatidyl[2-3H]inositol was employed as substrate for the measurement of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity. Employing this assay, phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity in human fetal membranes and uterine decidua was identified and characterized. The specific activity of this enzyme in amnion (4.4 μmol × mg−1 protein × h−1) was three times that in uterine decidua and more than five times that in chorion laeve. No difference was found between the specific activity of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C in placental amnion and that in reflected amnion. The products of phosphatidylinositol hydrolysis in short-term incubations were stoichiometric amounts of diacylglycerol and inositol-1,2-cyclic-phosphate plus inositol-1-phosphate. After longer periods of incubation, monoacylglycerol also was detected. Diacylglycerol lipase activity also was demonstrated in these tissues. More than 90% of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity of amnion tissue was recovered in the 105,000-g supernatant fraction, and optimal enzymatic activity in vitro was observed at pH 6.5-7.5 in the presence of Ca2+ (8 mM) and mercaptoethanol (4 mM). Phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity was stimulated by fatty acids in low concentrations, but was inhibited by lysophosphatidylcholine and a variety of detergents. No effect of labor on the specific activity of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C in either fetal membranes or uterine decidua could be detected. The finding of an active phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity in human fetal membranes and uterine decidua is complementary to our previous finding of a selective loss of arachidonic acid from phosphatidylinositol of human fetal membranes during labor. The action of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, coupled to diacylglycerol lipase action, could provide a mechanism for the release of arachidonic acid for prostaglandin biosynthesis during parturition.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a ubiquitously expressed signalling system, with involvement in lipid metabolism and obesity. There are reported changes in obesity of blood concentrations of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglcyerol (2-AG), and of adipose tissue expression levels of the two key catabolic enzymes of the ECS, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL). Surprisingly, however, the activities of these enzymes have not been assayed in conditions of increasing adiposity. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether FAAH and MGL activities in human subcutaneous adipocytes are affected by body mass index (BMI), or other markers of adiposity and metabolism.
Subcutaneous abdominal mature adipocytes, fasting blood samples and anthropometric measurements were obtained from 28 metabolically healthy subjects representing a range of BMIs. FAAH and MGL activities were assayed in mature adipocytes using radiolabelled substrates. Serum glucose, insulin and adipokines were determined using ELISAs.
MGL activity showed no relationship with BMI or other adiposity indices, metabolic markers (fasting serum insulin or glucose) or serum adipokine levels (adiponectin, leptin or resistin). In contrast, FAAH activity in subcutaneous adipocytes correlated positively with BMI and waist circumference, but not with skinfold thickness, metabolic markers or serum adipokine levels.
In this study, novel evidence is provided that FAAH activity in subcutaneous mature adipocytes increases with BMI, whereas MGL activity does not. These findings support the hypothesis that some components of the ECS are upregulated with increasing adiposity in humans, and that AEA and 2-AG may be regulated differently.
Endocannabinoid system; Fatty acid amide hydrolase; Monoacylglycerol lipase; Human; Adipocytes; BMI; Insulin; Glucose
Organophosphorus (OP) and thiocarbamate (TC) agrochemicals are used worldwide as insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, but their safety assessment in terms of potential off-targets remains incomplete. In this study, we used a chemoproteomic platform, termed activity-based protein profiling, to broadly define serine hydrolase targets in mouse brain of a panel of 29 OP and TC pesticides. Among the secondary targets identified, enzymes involved in degradation of endocannabinoid signaling lipids, monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase, were inhibited by several OP and TC pesticides. Blockade of these two enzymes led to elevations in brain endocannabinoid levels and dysregulated brain arachidonate metabolism. Other secondary targets include enzymes thought to also play important roles in the nervous system and unannotated proteins. This study reveals a multitude of secondary targets for OP and TC pesticides and underscores the utility of chemoproteomic platforms in gaining insights into biochemical pathways that are perturbed by these toxicants.
Activity-based protein profiling; cannabinoid; fatty acid amide hydrolase; monoacylglycerol lipase; organophosphorus; pesticides; serine hydrolase; thiocarbamate
Endocannabinoids, particularly 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), impact the directional turning and motility of a developing axon by activating CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) in its growth cone. Recent findings posit that sn-1-diacylglycerol lipases (DAGLα/β) synthesize 2-AG in the motile axon segment of developing pyramidal cells. Coincident axonal targeting of CB1Rs and DAGLs prompts the hypothesis that autocrine 2-AG signaling facilitates axonal outgrowth. However, DAGLs alone are insufficient to account for the spatial specificity and dynamics of 2-AG signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized that local 2-AG degradation by monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) must play a role. We determined how subcellular recruitment of MGL is temporally and spatially restricted to establish 2-AG’s signaling competence during axonal growth. MGL is expressed in central and peripheral axons of the fetal nervous system by embryonic day 12.5. MGL coexists with DAGLα and CB1Rs in corticofugal axons of pyramidal cells. Here, MGL and DAGLα undergo differential axonal targeting with MGL being excluded from the motile neurite tip. Thus, spatially-confined MGL activity generates a 2-AG-sensing microdomain and configures 2-AG signaling to promote axonal growth. Once synaptogenesis commences, MGL disperses in stationary growth cones. MGL’s axonal polarity is maintained by differential proteasomal degradation since inhibiting the ubiquitin proteasome system also induces axonal MGL redistribution. Since MGL inactivation drives a CB1R-dependent axonal growth response we conclude that 2-AG may act as a focal protrusive signal for developing neurons and whose regulated metabolism is critical for attaining correct axonal complexity.
axon; cortex; endocannabinoid; forebrain; signaling domain; thalamus
Cannabinoid receptors and their ligands constitute an endogenous signaling system that is found throughout the body, including the eye. This system can be activated by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a major drug of abuse. Cannabinoids offer considerable therapeutic potential in modulating ocular immune and inflammatory responses and in regulating intraocular pressure. The location of cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) in the retina is known, but recently a constellation of proteins has been identified that produce and break down endocannabinoids (eCBs) and modulate CB1 function. Localization of these proteins is critical to defining specific cannabinoid signaling circuitry in the retina.
Here we show the localization of diacylglycerol lipase α and β (DGLα/β), implicated in the production of the eCB 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG); monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) and α/β-hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6), both implicated in the breakdown of 2-AG; cannabinoid receptor interacting protein 1a (CRIP1a), a protein that may modulate CB1 function; Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA) which have been shown to break down the eCB anandamide and related acyl amides. In our most prominent finding, DGLα is present in post-synaptic Type 1 OFF cone bipolar cells juxtaposed to CB1-containing cone photoreceptor terminals. Interestingly, CRIP1a is reliably presynaptic to DGLα, consistent with a possible role in cannabinoid signaling, NAAA is restricted to retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), while DGLβ is limited to retinal blood vessels. These results taken together with previous anatomic and functional studies define specific cannabinoid circuitry likely to modulate eCB signaling at the first synapse of the retina as well as in the inner plexiform layer (IPL).
CB1; cannabinoid; retina; ABHD6; CRIP1a; MGL; DGL; FAAH; NAAA
Oxons are the bioactivated metabolites of organophosphorus insecticides formed via cytochrome P450 monooxygenase-catalyzed desulfuration of the parent compound. Oxons react covalently with the active site serine residue of serine hydrolases, thereby inactivating the enzyme. A number of serine hydrolases other than acetylcholinesterase, the canonical target of oxons, have been reported to react with and be inhibited by oxons. These off-target serine hydrolases include carboxylesterase 1 (CES1), CES2, and monoacylglycerol lipase. Carboxylesterases (CES, EC 126.96.36.199) metabolize a number of xenobiotic and endobiotic compounds containing ester, amide, and thioester bonds and are important in the metabolism of many pharmaceuticals. Monoglyceride lipase (MGL, EC 188.8.131.52) hydrolyzes monoglycerides including the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The physiological consequences and toxicity related to the inhibition of off-target serine hydrolases by oxons due to chronic, low level environmental exposures are poorly understood. Here, we determined the potency of inhibition (IC50 values; 15 min preincubation, enzyme and inhibitor) of recombinant CES1, CES2, and MGL by chlorpyrifos oxon, paraoxon and methyl paraoxon. The order of potency for these three oxons with CES1, CES2, and MGL was chlorpyrifos oxon > paraoxon > methyl paraoxon, although the difference in potency for chlorpyrifos oxon with CES1 and CES2 did not reach statistical significance. We also determined the bimolecular rate constants (kinact/KI) for the covalent reaction of chlorpyrifos oxon, paraoxon and methyl paraoxon with CES1 and CES2. Consistent with the results for the IC50 values, the order of reactivity for each of the three oxons with CES1 and CES2 was chlorpyrifos oxon > paraoxon > methyl paraoxon. The bimolecular rate constant for the reaction of chlorpyrifos oxon with MGL was also determined and was less than the values determined for chlorpyrifos oxon with CES1 and CES2 respectively. Together, the results define the kinetics of inhibition of three important hydrolytic enzymes by activated metabolites of widely used agrochemicals.
Carboxylesterase; Monoglyceride lipase; Monoacylglycerol lipase; Organophosphate; Oxon; Bimolecular rate constant
Small quantities of Gastrografin remaining in the intestinal tract some hours after introduction have been shown to cause falsely low trypsin values as determined by a spectrophotometric assay system. This interference is due first to the high absorbance of Gastrografin at 254 nm resulting in a falsely high background optical density. Secondly, Gastrografin inhibits esterase activity towards the synthetic substrate used in this assay. Gastrografin did not interfere with gelatin proteolysis by trypsin and did not affect amylase or lipase determination. Thus the instillation of Gastrografin into the duodenum before pancreatic function tests should be avoided when the trypsin content is to be determined spectrophotometrically.
Monoacylglycerols (MAGs) are short-lived intermediates of glycerolipid metabolism. Specific molecular species, such as 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which is a potent activator of cannabinoid receptors, may also function as lipid signaling molecules. In mammals, enzymes hydrolyzing MAG to glycerol and fatty acids, resembling the final step in lipolysis, or esterifying MAG to diacylglycerol, are well known; however, despite the high level of conservation of lipolysis, the corresponding activities in yeast have not been characterized yet. Here we provide evidence that the protein Yju3p functions as a potent MAG hydrolase in yeast. Cellular MAG hydrolase activity was decreased by more than 90% in extracts of Yju3p-deficient cells, indicating that Yju3p accounts for the vast majority of this activity in yeast. Loss of this activity was restored by heterologous expression of murine monoglyceride lipase (MGL). Since yju3Δ mutants accumulated MAG in vivo only at very low concentrations, we considered the possibility that MAGs are re-esterified into DAG by acyltransferases. Indeed, cellular MAG levels were further increased in mutant cells lacking Yju3p and Dga1p or Lro1p acyltransferase activities. In conclusion, our studies suggest that catabolic and anabolic reactions affect cellular MAG levels. Yju3p is the functional orthologue of mammalian MGL and is required for efficient degradation of MAG in yeast.
MAG, monoacylglycerol; MGL, monoacylglycerol lipase; MGH, monoacylglycerol hydrolase; MGAT, acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase; DGAT, acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase; EC, endocannabinoid; 2-AG, 2-arachachidonoyl glycerol; LD, lipid droplet; TAG, triacylglycerol; FFA, free fatty acid; DAG, diacylglycerol; GFP, green fluorescent protein; NAPE, N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine; NAE, N-acylethanolamide; AEA, N-arachidonoyl ethanolamide; Monoacylglycerols; Monoglyceride lipase; MGAT activity; Yeast
The present study tested whether the selective monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor JZL184 would reduce allodynia and paw edema in the carrageenan test.
The anti-edematous and anti-allodynic effects of JZL184 were compared to those of PF-3845, an inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and diclofenac, a non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor. Cannabinoid receptor involvement in the anti-edematous and anti-allodynic effects of JZL184 was evaluated by administration of the respective CB1 and CB2 receptor antagonists rimonabant and SR144528 as well as with CB1(−/−) and CB2(−/−) mice. JZL184 (1.6, 4, 16, or 40 mg/kg) was administered for six days to assess tolerance.
JZL184 administered before or after carrageenan significantly attenuated carrageenan-induced paw edema and mechanical allodynia. Complementary genetic and pharmacological approaches revealed that the anti-allodynic effects of JZL184 required both CB1 and CB2 receptors, but only CB2 receptors mediated its anti-edematous actions. Importantly, both the anti-edematous and anti-allodynic effects underwent tolerance following repeated injections of high dose JZL184 (16 or 40 mg/kg), but repeated administration of low dose JZL184 (4 mg/kg) retained efficacy.
These results suggest that the MAGL inhibitor JZL184 reduces inflammatory nociception through the activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors, with no evidence of tolerance following repeated administration of low doses.
Carrageenan; Pain; Allodynia; Inflammation; 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG); Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL); Endogenous cannabinoid; Anandamide; Fatty acid amide hydrolase; CB1 receptor; CB2 receptor
The structure-activity relationships of organophosphorus (OP) and organosulfur compounds were examined in vitro and in vivo as inhibitors of mouse brain monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) hydrolysis of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and agonist binding at the CB1 receptor. Several compounds showed exceptional potency towards MAGL activity with IC50 values of 0.1-10 nM in vitro and high inihibition at 10 mg/kg intraperitoneally in mice. We find for the first time that MAGL activity is a major in vivo determinant of 2-AG and arachidonic acid levels not only in brain but also in spleen, lung and liver. Apparent direct OP inhibition of CB1 agonist binding may be due instead to metabolic stabilization of 2-AG in brain membranes as the actual inhibitor.
Monoacylglycerol lipase inhibitors; 2-Arachidonoylglycerol; Arachidonic acid
Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) are two enzymes from the serine hydrolase superfamily that degrade the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide, respectively. We have recently discovered that MAGL and FAAH are both inhibited by carbamates bearing an N-piperidine/piperazine group. Piperidine/piperazine carbamates show excellent in vivo activity, raising brain endocannabinoid levels and producing CB1-dependent behavioral effects in mice, suggesting that they represent a promising class of inhibitors for studying the endogenous functions of MAGL and FAAH. Herein, we disclose a full account of the syntheses, structure-activity relationships, and inhibitory activities of piperidine/piperazine carbamates against members of the serine hydrolase family. These scaffolds can be tuned for MAGL-selective or dual MAGL-FAAH inhibition by the attachment of an appropriately substituted bisarylcarbinol or aryloxybenzyl moiety, respectively, on the piperidine/piperazine ring. Modifications to the piperidine/piperazine ring ablated inhibitory activity, suggesting a strict requirement for a six-member ring to maintain potency.
Monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) is primarily responsible for the hydrolysis of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endocannabinoid with full agonist activity at both cannabinoid receptors. Increased tissue 2-AG levels consequent to MGL inhibition are considered therapeutic against pain, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disorders. However, the lack of MGL structural information has hindered the development of MGL-selective inhibitors. Here, we detail a fully refined homology model of MGL which preferentially identifies MGL inhibitors over druglike noninhibitors. We include for the first time insight into the active-site geometry and potential hydrogen-bonding interactions along with molecular dynamics simulations describing the opening and closing of the MGL helical-domain lid. Docked poses of both the natural substrate and known inhibitors are detailed. A comparison of the MGL active site to that of the other principal endocannabinoid metabolizing enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), demonstrates key differences which provide crucial insight toward the design of selective MGL inhibitors as potential drugs.
MGL; comparative model; molecular dynamics; principal component analysis; docking
The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is a lipid mediator involved in various physiological processes. In response to neural activity, 2-AG is synthesized post-synaptically, then activates pre-synaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) in a retrograde manner, resulting in transient and long-lasting reduction of neurotransmitter release. The signalling competence of 2-AG is tightly regulated by the balanced action between ‘on demand’ biosynthesis and degradation. We review recent research on monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), ABHD6 and ABHD12, three serine hydrolases that together account for approx. 99% of brain 2-AG hydrolase activity. MAGL is responsible for approx. 85% of 2-AG hydrolysis and colocalizes with CB1R in axon terminals. It is therefore ideally positioned to terminate 2-AG-CB1R signalling regardless of the source of this endocannabinoid. Its acute pharmacological inhibition leads to 2-AG accumulation and CB1R-mediated behavioural responses. Chronic MAGL inactivation results in 2-AG overload, desensitization of CB1R signalling and behavioural tolerance. ABHD6 accounts for approx. 4% of brain 2-AG hydrolase activity but in neurones it rivals MAGL in efficacy. Neuronal ABHD6 resides post-synaptically, often juxtaposed with CB1Rs, and its acute inhibition leads to activity-dependent accumulation of 2-AG. In cortical slices, selective ABHD6 blockade facilitates CB1R-dependent long-term synaptic depression. ABHD6 is therefore positioned to guard intracellular pools of 2-AG at the site of generation. ABHD12 is highly expressed in microglia and accounts for approx. 9% of total brain 2-AG hydrolysis. Mutations in ABHD12 gene are causally linked to a neurodegenerative disease called PHARC. Whether ABHD12 qualifies as a bona fide member to the endocannabinoid system remains to be established.
2-AG hydrolase; ABHD12; ABHD6; endocannabinoid; monoacylglycerol lipase; α/β-hydrolase domain
The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) regulates neurotransmission and neuroinflammation by activating CB1 cannabinoid receptors on neurons and CB2 cannabinoid receptors on microglia. Enzymes that hydrolyze 2-AG, such as monoacylglycerol lipase, regulate the accumulation and efficacy of 2-AG at cannabinoid receptors. We found that the recently described serine hydrolase α-β-hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6) also controls the accumulation and efficacy of 2-AG at cannabinoid receptors. In cells from the BV-2 microglia cell line, ABHD6 knockdown reduced hydrolysis of 2-AG and increased the efficacy with which 2-AG can stimulate CB2-mediated cell migration. ABHD6 was expressed by neurons in primary culture and its inhibition led to activity-dependent accumulation of 2-AG. In adult mouse cortex, ABHD6 was located postsynaptically and its selective inhibition allowed the induction of CB1-dependent long-term depression by otherwise subthreshold stimulation. Our results indicate that ABHD6 is a rate-limiting step of 2-AG signaling and is therefore a bona fide member of the endocannabinoid signaling system.
Monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) is a serine hydrolase involved in the biological deactivation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG). Previous efforts to design MGL inhibitors have focused on chemical scaffolds that irreversibly block the activity of this enzyme. Here, we describe two naturally occurring terpenoids, pristimerin and euphol, which inhibit MGL activity with high potency (median effective concentration, IC50 = 93 nM and 315 nM, respectively) through a reversible mechanism. Mutational and modeling studies suggest that the two agents occupy a common hydrophobic pocket located within the putative lid domain of MGL, and each reversibly interact with one of two adjacent cysteine residues (Cys201 and Cys208) flanking such pocket. This previously unrecognized regulatory region may offer a novel molecular target for potent and reversible inhibitors of MGL.
The activation of cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2)-mediated pathways might represent a promising anti-atherosclerotic treatment. Here, we investigated the expression of the endocannabinoid system in human carotid plaques and the impact of CB2 pharmacological activation on markers of plaque vulnerability in vivo and in vitro.
Methods and results
The study was conducted using all available residual human carotid tissues (upstream and downstream the blood flow) from our cohort of patients symptomatic (n = 13) or asymptomatic (n = 27) for ischaemic stroke. Intraplaque levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol, anandamide N-arachidonoylethanolamine, N-palmitoylethanolamine, N-oleoylethanolamine, and their degrading enzymes (fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase) were not different in human plaque portions. In the majority of human samples, CB1 (both mRNA and protein levels) was undetectable. In downstream symptomatic plaques, CB2 protein expression was reduced when compared with asymptomatic patients. In these portions, CB2 levels were inversely correlated (r = −0.4008, P = 0.0170) with matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-9 content and positively (r = 0.3997, P = 0.0174) with collagen. In mouse plaques, CB2 co-localized with neutrophils and MMP-9. Treatment with the selective CB2 agonist JWH-133 was associated with the reduction in MMP-9 content in aortic root and carotid plaques. In vitro, pre-incubation with JWH-133 reduced tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α-mediated release of MMP-9. This effect was associated with the reduction in TNF-α-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in human neutrophils.
Cannabinoid receptor type 2 receptor is down-regulated in unstable human carotid plaques. Since CB2 activation prevents neutrophil release of MMP-9 in vivo and in vitro, this treatment strategy might selectively reduce carotid vulnerability in humans.
Carotid arteries; Metalloproteinase-9; Neutrophils
The endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in the control of energy homeostasis, but the identity and localization of the endocannabinoid signal involved remain unknown. In the present study we developed transgenic mice that over-express in forebrain neurons the presynaptic hydrolase, monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), which deactivates the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG). MGL-overexpressing mice show a 50 percent decrease in forebrain 2-AG levels, but no overt compensation in other endocannabinoid components. This biochemical abnormality is accompanied by a series of metabolic changes that include leanness, elevated energy cost of activity and hypersensitivity to β3-adrenergic-stimulated thermogenesis, which is corrected by reinstating 2-AG activity at CB1-cannabinoid receptors. Additionally, the mutant mice are resistant to diet-induced obesity and express high levels of thermogenic proteins, such as uncoupling protein-1, in their brown adipose tissue. The results suggest that 2-AG signaling through CB1 regulates the activity of forebrain neural circuits involved in the control of energy dissipation.
Carboxylesterase type 1 (CES1) and CES2 are serine hydrolases located in the liver and small intestine. CES1 and CES2 actively participate in the metabolism of several pharmaceuticals. Recently, carbamate compounds were developed to inhibit members of the serine hydrolase family via covalent modification of the active site serine. URB597 and JZL184 inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively; however, carboxylesterases in liver have been identified as a major off-target. We report the kinetic rate constants for inhibition of human recombinant CES1 and CES2 by URB597 and JZL184. Bimolecular rate constants (kinact/Ki) for inhibition of CES1 by JZL184 and URB597 were similar [3.9 (±0.2) × 103 M-1 s-1 and 4.5 (±1.3) × 103 M-1 s-1, respectively]. However, kinact/Ki for inhibition of CES2 by JZL184 and URB597 were significantly different [2.3 (±1.3) × 102 M-1 s-1 and 3.9 (±1.0) × 103 M-1 s-1, respectively]. Rates of inhibition of CES1 and CES2 by URB597 were similar; however, CES1 and MAGL were more potently inhibited by JZL184 than CES2. We also determined kinetic constants for spontaneous reactivation of CES1 carbamoylated by either JZL184 or URB597 and CES1 diethylphosphorylated by paraoxon. The reactivation rate was significantly slower (4.5x) for CES1 inhibited by JZL184 than CES1 inhibited by URB597. Half life of reactivation for CES1 carbamoylated by JZL184 was 49 ± 15 h, which is faster than carboxylesterase turnover in HepG2 cells. Together, the results define the kinetics of inhibition for a class of drugs that target hydrolytic enzymes involved in drug and lipid metabolism.
carboxylesterase; monoacylglycerol lipase; carbamate; bimolecular rate constant; reactivation; drug-drug interactions
Purified rat peritoneal mast cells stimulated with the polycationic histamine-releasing agent compound 48/80 demonstrated a two- to four- fold increase in cellular levels of 1,2-diacylglycerol (DAG) within 1 min as detected by radioactive labeling and direct quantitation experiments. When 2-[1-14C]arachidonoyl-DAG was incubated in the presence of mast-cell homogenates, a rapid conversion to free arachidonate, and to a lesser extent, to monoacylglycerol, triglyceride, and phospholipid was observed. The release of arachidonate was proportional to the amount of broken-cell preparation added and the time of incubation, was prevented by preheating mast-cell preparations, and did not occur when 1-[1-14C]arachidonoyl- phosphatidylcholine was used as substrate, suggesting that the degradation was mediated by an enzyme with Dag-lipase activity. Although much work remains to be done to clarify the precise role of DAG in mast cells, DAG metabolism may be involved in secretion by generating substances which may faciliate membrane fusion and also in arachidonic acid-derived mediator formation by liberating esterified arachidonic acid from mast-cell lipids. Taken together, these studies indicate that the formation of DAG may play a central role in mast-cell function.