Endocannabinoid Interaction with Human FABP1: Impact of the T94A Variant. Academic Article uri icon


  • Using recombinant human wild-type fatty acid binding protein 1 (WT FABP1 T94T) and a variant (FABP1 T94A) protein, fluorescence binding assays, and circular dichroism, it was shown for the first time that WT FABP1 and the T94A variant each have a single, relatively hydrophobic site for binding fluorescent NBD-labeled analogues of N-arachidonoylethanolamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol with high affinity. Most native N-acylethanolamides (NAEs) but only one 2-monoacylglycerol [i.e., 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)] displaced WT FABP1-bound fluorescently labeled endocannabinoids (ECs). While the T94A variant did not differ in affinity for AEA and most other NAEs, it exhibited a modestly higher affinity for OEA, as well as a higher affinity for 2-AG. Binding of AEA and 2-AG altered WT FABP1's secondary structure more extensively than any other previously examined ligand did. The T94A variant without a ligand was more susceptible to temperature-induced unfolding. While the T94A variant was much less sensitive to ligand (i.e., AEA or 2-AG)-induced conformational change, nevertheless binding of AEA and 2-AG significantly stabilized the T94A structure to thermal unfolding. These data provide the first evidence that ECs not only bind to but also alter the secondary structure of the human FABP1, with the latter markedly impacted by the T94A substitution, a variant strongly associated with hepatic accumulation of lipids and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Importantly, NAFLD has been associated with elevated hepatic levels of ECs and FABP1.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Martin, G. G., Huang, H., McIntosh, A. L., Kier, A. B., & Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Martin, Gregory G||Huang, Huan||McIntosh, Avery L||Kier, Ann B||Schroeder, Friedhelm

publication date

  • September 2017