Molecular pharmacology

Robust hydrolysis of prostaglandin glycerol esters by human monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).

PMID 25140003


The primary route of inactivation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the central nervous system is through enzymatic hydrolysis, mainly carried out by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), along with a small contribution by the α/β-hydrolase domain (ABHD) proteins ABHD6 and ABHD12. Recent methodological progress allowing kinetic monitoring of glycerol liberation has facilitated substrate profiling of the human endocannabinoid hydrolases, and these studies have revealed that the three enzymes have distinct monoacylglycerol substrate and isomer preferences. Here, we have extended this substrate profiling to cover four prostaglandin glycerol esters, namely, 15-deoxy-Δ(12,14)-prostaglandin J2-2-glycerol (15d-PGJ2-G), PGD2-G, PGE2-G, and PGF2 α-G. We found that the three enzymes hydrolyzed the tested substrates, albeit with distinct rates and preferences. Although human ABHD12 (hABHD12) showed only marginal activity toward PGE2-G, hABHD6 preferentially hydrolyzed PGD2-G, and human MAGL (hMAGL) robustly hydrolyzed all four. This was particularly intriguing for MAGL activity toward 15d-PGJ2-G whose hydrolysis rate rivaled that of the best monoacylglycerol substrates. Molecular modeling studies combined with kinetic analysis supported favorable interaction with the hMAGL active site. Long and short MAGL isoforms shared a similar substrate profile, and hMAGL hydrolyzed 15d-PGJ2-G also in living cells. The ability of 15d-PGJ2-G to activate the canonical nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) signaling pathway used by 15d-PGJ2 was assessed, and these studies revealed for the first time that 15d-PGJ2 and 15d-PGJ2-G similarly activated Nrf2 signaling as well as transcription of target genes of this pathway. Our study challenges previous claims regarding the ability of MAGL to catalyze PG-G hydrolysis and extend the MAGL substrate profile beyond the classic monoacylglycerols.