Marijuana is the most widely abused illegal drug, and its spectrum of effects suggests that several receptors are responsible for the activity. Two cannabinoid receptor subtypes, CB1 and CB2, have been identified, but the complex pharmacological properties of exogenous cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are not fully explained by their signaling. The orphan receptor GPR55 binds a subset of CB1 and CB2 ligands and has been proposed as a cannabinoid receptor. This designation, however, is controversial as a result of recent studies in which lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) was identified as a GPR55 agonist. Defining a biological role for GPR55 requires GPR55 selective ligands that have been unavailable. From a β-arrestin, high-throughput, high-content screen of 300000 compounds run in collaboration with the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network initiative (PubChem AID1965), we identified potent GPR55 selective agonists. By modeling of the GPR55 activated state, we compared the GPR55 binding conformations of three of the novel agonists obtained from the screen, CID1792197, CID1172084, and CID2440433 (PubChem Compound IDs), with that of LPI. Our modeling indicates the molecular shapes and electrostatic potential distributions of these agonists mimic those of LPI; the GPR55 binding site accommodates ligands that have inverted-L or T shapes with long, thin profiles that can fit vertically deep in the receptor binding pocket while their broad head regions occupy a horizontal binding pocket near the GPR55 extracellular loops. Our results will allow the optimization and design of second-generation GPR55 ligands and provide a means for distinguishing GPR55 selective ligands from those interacting with cannabinoid receptors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging data suggest that off-target cannabinoid effects may be mediated via novel seven-transmembrane spanning/G protein-coupled receptors. Due to its cannabinoid sensitivity, the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) was recently proposed as a candidate; however, GPR55 is phylogenetically distinct from the traditional cannabinoid receptors, and the conflicting pharmacology, signaling, and functional data have prevented its classification as a novel cannabinoid receptor. Indeed, the most consistent and potent agonist to date is the noncannabinoid lysophospholipid, lysophosphatidylinositol. Here we present new human GPR55 mRNA expression data, providing supportive evidence of GPR55 expression in a vast array of tissues and cell types. Moreover, we summarize major recent developments in GPR55 research and aim to update the reader in the rapidly expanding fields of GPR55 pharmacology, physiology, and pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GPR55 is activated by l-α-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) but also by certain cannabinoids. In this study, we investigated the GPR55 pharmacology
of various cannabinoids, including analogues of the CB1 receptor antagonist Rimonabant®, CB2 receptor agonists, and Cannabis sativa constituents. To test ERK1/2 phosphorylation, a primary downstream signaling pathway that conveys LPI-induced activation
of GPR55, a high throughput system, was established using the AlphaScreen® SureFire® assay. Here, we show that CB1 receptor antagonists can act both as agonists alone and as inhibitors of LPI signaling under the same assay conditions. This
study clarifies the controversy surrounding the GPR55-mediated actions of SR141716A; some reports indicate the compound to
be an agonist and some report antagonism. In contrast, we report that the CB2 ligand GW405833 behaves as a partial agonist of GPR55 alone and enhances LPI signaling. GPR55 has been implicated in pain
transmission, and thus our results suggest that this receptor may be responsible for some of the antinociceptive actions of
certain CB2 receptor ligands. The phytocannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidivarin, and cannabigerovarin are also potent inhibitors of LPI. These Cannabis sativa constituents may represent novel therapeutics targeting GPR55.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) is a bioactive lipid generated by phospholipase A2 which is believed to play an important role in several diseases. Indeed LPI can affect various functions such as cell growth, differentiation and motility, in a number of cell-types, including cancer cells, endothelial cells and nervous cells. Despite the fact that LPI-induced cellular functions had been known for more than twenty years, the recent discovery that in several cell-types the orphan G protein-coupled receptor GPR55 acts as the specific receptor for LPI has fuelled novel interest in this lysolipid. Different research groups, including our own, have recently suggested that LPI may be the specific and functional ligand for GPR55, triggering signalling cascades that are relevant to cell proliferation, migration, survival and tumourigenesis. Recently published data suggest that the LPI/GPR55 axis plays an important role in different physiological and pathological contexts. Here we review the available data supporting the role of LPI in cell signalling and the pharmacology of its putative receptor GPR55.
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