“Aims: Characterizing cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) expressed in Ewing sarcoma (EWS) cell lines as potential targets for anti-cancer drug development.
Main methods: CBR affinity and function were examined by competitive binding and G-protein activation, respectively. Cannabinoid-mediated cytotoxicity and cell viability were evaluated by LDH, and trypan blue assays, respectively.
Key findings: qRT-PCR detected CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 receptor (CB2R) mRNA in TC-71 cells. However, binding screens revealed that CBRs expressed exhibit atypical properties relative to canonical receptors, because specific binding in TC-71 could only be demonstrated by the established non-selective CB1/CB2R radioligand [3H]WIN-55,212-2, but not CB1/CB2R radioligand [3H]CP-55,940. Homologous receptor binding demonstrated that [3H]WIN-55,212-2 binds to a single site with nanomolar affinity, expressed at high density. Further support for non-canonical CBRs expression is provided by subsequent binding screens, revealing that only 9 out of 28 well-characterized cannabinoids with high affinity for canonical CB1 and/or CB2Rs were able to displace [3H]WIN-55,212-2, whereas two ligands enhanced [3H]WIN-55,212-2 binding. Five cannabinoids producing the greatest [3H]WIN-55,212-2 displacement exhibited high nanomolar affinity (Ki) for expressed receptors. G-protein modulation and adenylyl cyclase assays further indicate that these CBRs exhibit distinct signaling/functional profiles compared to canonical CBRs. Importantly, cannabinoids with the highest affinity for non-canonical CBRs reduced TC-71 viability and induced cytotoxicity in a time-dependent manner. Studies in a second EWS cell line (A-673) showed similar atypical binding properties of expressed CBRs, and cannabinoid treatment produced cytotoxicity.
Significance: Cannabinoids induce cytotoxicity in EWS cell lines via non-canonical CBRs, which might be a potential therapeutic target to treat EWS.”
“Cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) were detected in EWS TC-71 and A-673 cells. CBRs expressed in EWS cell lines exhibit atypical binding and signaling characteristics. Ligands with highest affinity for these non-canonical CBRs induce EWS cell death.”