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The medicinal properties of marijuana have been recognized for centuries, but clinical and societal acceptance of this drug of abuse as a potential therapeutic agent remains fiercely debated. An attractive alternative to marijuana-based therapeutics would be to target the molecular pathways that mediate the effects of this drug. To date, these neural(More)
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoglyceride lipase (MGL) catalyse the hydrolysis of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. We investigated their ultrastructural distribution in brain areas where the localization and effects of cannabinoid receptor activation are known. In the hippocampus, FAAH was present in somata and(More)
Cellular communication in the nervous system is mediated by chemical messengers that include amino acids, monoamines, peptide hormones, and lipids. An interesting question is how neurons regulate signals that are transmitted by membrane-embedded lipids. Here, we report the 2.8 angstrom crystal structure of the integral membrane protein fatty acid amide(More)
Fatty acid amides (FAAs) constitute a large class of endogenous signaling lipids that modulate several physiological processes, including pain, feeding, blood pressure, sleep, and inflammation. Although FAAs have been proposed to evoke their behavioral effects through both central and peripheral mechanisms, these distinct signaling pathways have remained(More)
Early-onset torsion dystonia is an autosomal dominant hyperkinetic movement disorder that has recently been linked to a 3-base pair deletion in the DYT1 gene. The DYT1 gene encodes a 332-amino acid protein, torsin A, that bears low but significant homology to the Hsp100/Clp family of ATPase chaperones. The deletion in DYT1 associated with torsion dystonia(More)
Nitrilases are a large and diverse family of nonpeptidic C-N hydrolases. The mammalian genome encodes eight nitrilase enzymes, several of which remain poorly characterized. Prominent among these are nitrilase-1 (Nit1) and nitrilase-2 (Nit2), which, despite having been shown to exert effects on cell growth and possibly serving as tumor suppressor genes, are(More)
The enzyme carbonic anhydrase has been well characterized in mammalian systems, but the structural properties of the plant isozymes remain elusive. To investigate the nature of the zinc-binding site in spinach carbonic anhydrase, we targeted potential zinc ligands for mutagenesis and examined the resulting enzymes for catalytic activity and stoichiometric(More)
CA catalyzes the reversible hydration of COz (Table I). In C3 plants, CA is localized in the chloroplast stroma where it presumably facilitates COZ fixation by Rubisco (Graham et al., 1984). A genomic CA clone was isolated from a n Arabidopsis thaliana library in XEMBL4 using spinach CA cDNA as a probe (Fawcett et al., 1990). Comparison of the genomic(More)
The X-ray crystal structures of five distinct enzymes (prostaglandin H(2) synthase, squalene cyclase, fatty acid amide hydrolase, microsomal cytochrome P450, and estrone sulfatase) challenge contemporary descriptions of integral membrane proteins. This structurally divergent group represents an important component of the integral membrane proteome that lies(More)