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Accueil > Bibliographie > The insertion and transport of anandamide in synthetic lipid membranes are (...)

The insertion and transport of anandamide in synthetic (...)

PLoS ONE. 2009 ;4(3):e4989
The insertion and transport of anandamide in synthetic lipid membranes are both cholesterol-dependent.
Di Pasquale E, Chahinian H, Sanchez P, Fantini J.

BACKGROUND : Anandamide is a lipid neurotransmitter which belongs to a class of molecules termed the endocannabinoids involved in multiple physiological functions. Anandamide is readily taken up into cells, but there is considerable controversy as to the nature of this transport process (passive diffusion through the lipid bilayer vs. involvement of putative proteic transporters). This issue is of major importance since anandamide transport through the plasma membrane is crucial for its biological activity and intracellular degradation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the involvement of cholesterol in membrane uptake and transport of anandamide. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS : Molecular modeling simulations suggested that anandamide can adopt a shape that is remarkably complementary to cholesterol. Physicochemical studies showed that in the nanomolar concentration range, anandamide strongly interacted with cholesterol monolayers at the air-water interface. The specificity of this interaction was assessed by : i) the lack of activity of structurally related unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid and arachidonic acid at 50 nM) on cholesterol monolayers, and ii) the weak insertion of anandamide into phosphatidylcholine or sphingomyelin monolayers. In agreement with these data, the presence of cholesterol in reconstituted planar lipid bilayers triggered the stable insertion of anandamide detected as an increase in bilayer capacitance. Kinetics transport studies showed that pure phosphatidylcholine bilayers were weakly permeable to anandamide. The incorporation of cholesterol in phosphatidylcholine bilayers dose-dependently stimulated the translocation of anandamide. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE : Our results demonstrate that cholesterol stimulates both the insertion of anandamide into synthetic lipid monolayers and bilayers, and its transport across bilayer membranes. In this respect, we suggest that besides putative anandamide protein-transporters, cholesterol could be an important component of the anandamide transport machinery. Finally, this study provides a mechanistic explanation for the key regulatory activity played by membrane cholesterol in the responsiveness of cells to anandamide.

PubMed

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