Module 1: Figure anandamide
Anandamide formation and signalling function
Anandamide formation begins with an N-acetyltransferase (NAT) removing an arachidonyl moiety from phosphatidylcholine (PC) and attaches it to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to form N-arachidonyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE), which is the anandamide precursor. A NAPE phospholipase D (NAPE PLD) hydrolyses this precursor to leave phosphatidic acid (PA) in the membrane and releasing anandamide. The anandamide diffuses across the membrane and attaches to lipocalcin, which carries it to its target cells where it acts by binding to the cannabinoid receptor 1 or 2 (CB1 or CB2). Anandamide is inactivated by entering cells through the anandamide transport and is hydrolysed to arachidonic acid and ethanolamine by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).