Confocal microscopy and biochemical analysis reveal spatial and functional separation between anandamide uptake and hydrolysis in human keratinocytes

S. Oddi, M. Bari, N. Battista, D. Barsacchi, I. Cozzani, M. Maccarrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The signaling activity of anandamide (AEA) is terminated by its uptake across the cellular membrane and subsequent intracellular hydrolysis by the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). To date, the existence of an AEA membrane transporter (AMT) independent of FAAH activity remains questionable, although it has been recently corroborated by pharmacological and genetic data. We performed confocal microscopy and biochemical analysis in human HaCaT keratinocytes, in order to study the cellular distribution of AMT and FAAH. We found that FAAH is intracellularly localized as a punctate staining partially overlapping with the endoplasmic reticulum. Consistently, subcellular fractionation and reconstitution of vesicles from membranes of different compartments demonstrated that FAAH activity was localized mainly in microsomal fractions, whereas AMT activity was almost exclusively in plasma membranes. These results provide the first morphological and biochemical evidence to support the view that transport and hydrolysis are two spatially and functionally distinct processes in AEA degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-395
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

Keywords

  • Differentiation
  • Endocannabinoid
  • Fatty acid amide hydrolase
  • HaCaT cell
  • Lipid raft
  • Membrane transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology

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