Characterization of Arachidonylethanolamide Metabolic Pathway in Moss

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Arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) is a bioactive lipid ligand for mammalian cannabinoid receptors (CB). Thus far, AEA was reported to occur only in animals and was shown to regulate a wide range of physiological responses. Our recent fi nding of the occurrence of AEA in moss has led us hypothesize that AEA might mediate stress responses in plants, similar to that in animals. In mammals, AEA is generated from hydrolysis of N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) by a NAPE-specifi c phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), and degraded by a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and this metabolic pathway is highly conserved among eukaryotes. Here, using in silico approach, putative genes encoding for AEA pathway enzymes, were identifi ed in moss. Full-length coding sequences for putative NAPE-PLD and FAAH were isolated from Physcomitrella patens and were cloned and expressed into a heterologous expression vector. Biochemical characterization of AEA pathway enzymes is underway and is expected to lead to generation of AEA metabolite mutants in moss. Such mutants will allow for elucidation of the role of AEA in development of moss and mediating stress responses. Overall, this study will provide novel insights into functional and evolutionary role of lipid-mediated signaling in plants.


Raleigh, NC

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