Regulation of a Neuronal Form of Focal Adhesion Kinase by Anandamide

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Science  20 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5282, pp. 1719-1722
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5282.1719


Anandamide is an endogenous ligand for central cannabinoid receptors and is released after neuronal depolarization. Anandamide increased protein tyrosine phosphorylation in rat hippocampal slices and neurons in culture. The action of anandamide resulted from the inhibition of adenylyl cyclase and cyclic adenosine 3,5-monophosphate-dependent protein kinase. One of the proteins phosphorylated in response to anandamide was an isoform of pp125-focal adhesion kinase (FAK+) expressed preferentially in neurons. Focal adhesion kinaseis a tyrosine kinase involved in the interactions between the integrins and actin-based cytoskeleton. Thus, anandamide may exert neurotrophic effects and play a role in synaptic plasticity.