Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme involved in the inactivation of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), is being considered as a therapeutic target for analgesia and neuroprotection. We have developed a brain permeable FAAH inhibitor, AM5206, which has served as a valuable pharmacological tool to explore neuroprotective effects of this class of compounds. In the present work, we characterized the interactions of AM5206 with a representative AEA carrier protein, human serum albumin (HSA), using 19F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Our data showed that as a drug carrier, albumin can significantly enhance the solubility of AM5206 in aqueous environment. Through a series of titration and competitive binding experiments, we also identified that AM5206 primarily binds to two distinct sites within HSA. Our results may provide insight into the mechanism of HSA-AM5206 interactions. The findings should also help in the development of suitable formulations of the lipophilic AM5206 and its congeners for their effective delivery to specific target sites in the brain.
Zhuang, J., Yang, D., Tian, X., Nikas, S. P., Sharma, R., Guo, J. J. & Makriyannis, A. (2013). Targeting the Endocannabinoid System for Neuroprotection: A 19F-NMR Study of a Selective FAAH Inhibitor Binding with an Anandamide Carrier Protein, HSA. Journal of pharmaceutics & pharmacology, 1(1), 002. doi:.