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J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Mar 30;161(1):47-54. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

A high throughput fluorescent assay for measuring the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

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Neuroscience Research, Global Pharmaceutical Research Division, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL 60064, USA.


Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is the enzyme responsible for the rapid degradation of fatty acid amides such as the endocannabinoid anandamide. Inhibition of FAAH activity has been suggested as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic pain, depression and anxiety, through local activation of the cannabinoid receptor CB1. We have developed a high throughput screening assay for identification of FAAH inhibitors using a novel substrate, decanoyl 7-amino-4-methyl coumarin (D-AMC) that is cleaved by FAAH to release decanoic acid and the highly fluorescent molecule 7-amino-4-methyl coumarin (AMC). This assay gives an excellent signal window for measuring FAAH activity and, as a continuous assay, inherently offers improved sensitivity and accuracy over previously reported endpoint assays. The assay was validated using a panel of known FAAH inhibitors and purified recombinant human FAAH, then converted to a 384 well format and used to screen a large library of compounds (>600,000 compounds) to identify FAAH inhibitors. This screen identified numerous novel FAAH inhibitors of diverse chemotypes. These hits confirmed using a native FAAH substrate, anandamide, and had very similar rank order potency to that obtained using the D-AMC substrate. Collectively these data demonstrate that D-AMC can be successfully used to rapidly and effectively identify novel FAAH inhibitors for potential therapeutic use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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