The endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide) are principally degraded by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), respectively. The recent discovery of O-aryl carbamates such as JZL184 as selective MAGL inhibitors has enabled functional investigation of 2-AG signaling pathways in vivo. Nonetheless, JZL184 and other reported MAGL inhibitors still display low-level cross-reactivity with FAAH and peripheral carboxylesterases, which can complicate their use in certain biological studies. Here, we report a distinct class of O-hexafluoroisopropyl (HFIP) carbamates that inhibits MAGL in vitro and in vivo with excellent potency and greatly improved selectivity, including showing no detectable cross-reactivity with FAAH. These findings designate HFIP carbamates as a versatile chemotype for inhibiting MAGL and should encourage the pursuit of other serine hydrolase inhibitors that bear reactive groups resembling the structures of natural substrates.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.