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FEBS Lett. 1998 May 8;427(2):283-5.

Prenylation of olivetolate by a hemp transferase yields cannabigerolic acid, the precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl für Pharmazeutische Biologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany.


A new enzyme, geranylpyrophosphate:olivetolate geranyltransferase (GOT), the first enzyme in the biosynthesis of cannabinoids could be detected in extracts of young leaves of Cannabis sativa. The enzyme accepts geranylpyrophosphate (GPP) and to a lesser degree also nerylpyrophosphate (NPP) as a cosubstrate. It is, however, specific for olivetolic acid; its decarboxylation product olivetol is inactive as a prenyl acceptor.

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