2-Arachidonoyl glycerol is an endogenous agonist of the central cannabinoid receptor. It is present at relatively high levels in the central nervous system. Monoacylglycerol lipase hydrolyzes arachidonoyl-1-thio-glycerol to arachidonic acid and glycerol. Arachidonoyl-1-thio-glycerol is a thioester substrate analog of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol that can be utilized for the measurement of monoacylglycerol lipase activity. Hydrolysis of the thioester bond by monoacylglycerol lipase generates a free thiol that reacts rapidly with the Ellman's reagent resulting a yellow product with an absorbance maximum at 412 nm.
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