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Science 334 (6057): 768-769

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Anatomy of Prostaglandin Signals

Nephi Stella

Membrane metabolism generates many lipid signals that regulate diverse cellular processes. Although most membrane-metabolizing enzymes are specific to one lipid family, some act on a range of substrates and produce lipid signals with different bioactivities. These multisubstrate enzymes act as nodes that can change the flow of information carried by the lipid signaling network by, for example, boosting the production of one family of lipids while dampening that of another. On page 809 of this issue, Nomura et al. (1) show that the enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) (2) is a critical node within the lipid signaling network, coordinating the brain's defense mechanism to neurodegeneration. They also show that inhibiting MAGL prevents neurodegeneration and chronic neuroinflammation in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease, opening a new potential avenue for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

Department of Pharmacology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7280, USA.

E-mail: nstella{at}u.washington.edu

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES:
Inflammation to Rebuild a Brain.
N. Stella (2012)
Science 338, 1303-1304
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