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N-acylethanolamine metabolism with special reference to N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase

N-acylethanolamine metabolism with special reference to N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase

  1. Anonymous
    Natsuo Ueda, Kazuhito Tsuboi, Toru Uyama
    Progress in Lipid Research

    N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) constitute a class of bioactive lipid molecules present in animal and plant
    tissues. Among the NAEs, N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide), N-palmitoylethanolamine, and
    N-oleoylethanolamine attract much attention due to cannabimimetic activity as an endocannabinoid,
    anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities, and anorexic activity, respectively. In mammalian tissues,
    NAEs are formed from glycerophospholipids through the phosphodiesterase-transacylation pathway consisting
    of Ca2+-dependent N-acyltransferase and N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase
    D. Recent studies revealed the presence of alternative pathways and enzymes responsible for the
    NAE formation. As for the degradation of NAEs, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which hydrolyzes
    NAEs to fatty acids and ethanolamine, plays a central role. However, a lysosomal enzyme referred to
    as NAE-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA) also catalyzes the same reaction and may be a new target
    for the development of therapeutic drugs. In this article we discuss recent progress in the studies on
    the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of NAEs with special reference to NAAA.