Structure of a Signaling Cannabinoid Receptor 1-G Protein Complex.

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“Cannabis elicits its mood-enhancing and analgesic effects through the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that signals primarily through the adenylyl cyclase-inhibiting heterotrimeric G protein Gi. Activation of CB1-Gi signaling pathways holds potential for treating a number of neurological disorders and is thus crucial to understand the mechanism of Giactivation by CB1.

Here, we present the structure of the CB1-Gi signaling complex bound to the highly potent agonist MDMB-Fubinaca (FUB), a recently emerged illicit synthetic cannabinoid infused in street drugs that have been associated with numerous overdoses and fatalities.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30639101

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867418315654

“Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Results of this study show that Delta(9)-THC and other cannabinoids exert antidepressant-like actions, and thus may contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20332000

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Expression and Preparation of a G-Protein-Coupled Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 for NMR Structural Studies.

Current Protocols in Protein Science banner

“Cannabinoid receptor type II, or CB2 , is an integral membrane protein that belongs to a large class of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR)s. CB2 is a part of the endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in the regulation of immune response, inflammation, and pain.

Information about the structure and function of CB2 is essential for the development of specific ligands targeting this receptor.

We present here a methodology for recombinant expression of CB2 and its stable isotope labeling, purification, and reconstitution into liposomes, in preparation for its characterization by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

Correctly folded, functional CB2 labeled with [13 C,15 N]tryptophan or uniformly labeled with 13 C and 15 N is expressed in a medium of defined composition, under controlled aeration, pH, and temperature conditions.

The receptor is purified by affinity chromatography and reconstituted into lipid bilayers in the form of proteoliposomes suitable for analysis by NMR spectroscopy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30624864

https://currentprotocols.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cpps.83

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Differentially Regulate Intraocular Pressure.

“It has been known for nearly 50 years that cannabis and the psychoactive constituent Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduce intraocular pressure (IOP).

Elevated IOP remains the chief hallmark and therapeutic target for glaucoma, a major cause of blindness.

THC likely acts via one of the known cannabinoid-related receptors (CB1, CB2, GPR18, GPR119, GPR55) but this has never been determined explicitly.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a second major constituent of cannabis that has been found to be without effect on IOP in most studies.

RESULTS:

We now report that a single topical application of THC lowered IOP substantially (∼28%) for 8 hours in male mice. This effect is due to combined activation of CB1 and GPR18 receptors each of which has been shown to lower ocular pressure when activated. We also found that the effect was sex-dependent, being stronger in male mice, and that mRNA levels of CB1 and GPR18 were higher in males. Far from inactive, CBD was found to have two opposing effects on ocular pressure, one of which involved antagonism of tonic signaling.

CBD prevents THC from lowering ocular pressure.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that THC lowers IOP by activating two receptors-CB1 and GPR18-but in a sex-dependent manner. CBD, contrary to expectation, has two opposing effects on IOP and can interfere with the effects of THC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30550613

https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2718702

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Novel inverse agonists for the orphan G protein-coupled receptor 6.

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“The orphan G protein-coupled receptor 6 (GPR6) displays unique promise as a therapeutic target for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders due to its high expression in the striatopallidal neurons of the basal ganglia.

GPR6, along with closely related orphan receptors GPR3 and GPR12, are phylogenetically related to CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

In the current study, we performed concentration-response studies on the effects of three different classes of cannabinoids: endogenous, phyto-, and synthetic, on both GPR6-mediated cAMP accumulation and β-arrestin2 recruitment. In addition, structure-activity relationship studies were conducted on cannabidiol (CBD), a recently discovered inverse agonist for GPR6.

We have identified four additional cannabinoids, cannabidavarin (CBDV), WIN55212-2, SR141716A and SR144528, that exert inverse agonism on GPR6. Furthermore, we have discovered that these cannabinoids exhibit functional selectivity toward the β-arrestin2 recruitment pathway.

These novel, functionally selective inverse agonists for GPR6 can be used as research tools and potentially developed into therapeutic agents.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30480157

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Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of GPR55 antagonists in LPS-activated primary microglial cells.

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“Neuroinflammation plays a vital role in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

The orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) has been reported to modulate inflammation and is expressed in immune cells such as monocytes and microglia.

Targeting GPR55 might be a new therapeutic option to treat neurodegenerative diseases with a neuroinflammatory background such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, and multiple sclerosis (MS).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30453998

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-018-1362-7

“Pharmacological characterization of GPR55, a putative cannabinoid receptor.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20298715

“Our findings also suggest that GPR55 may be a new pharmacological target for the following C. sativa constituents: Δ9-THCV, CBDV, CBGA, and CBGV. These Cannabis sativa constituents may represent novel therapeutics targeting GPR55.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249141/

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Activation of GPR55 induces neuroprotection of hippocampal neurogenesis and immune responses of neural stem cells following chronic, systemic inflammation.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“New neurons are continuously produced by neural stem cells (NSCs) within the adult hippocampus. Numerous diseases, including major depressive disorder and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder, are associated with decreased rates of adult neurogenesis. A hallmark of these conditions is a chronic release of neuroinflammatory mediators by activated resident glia.

Recent studies have shown a neuroprotective role on NSCs of cannabinoid receptor activation. Yet, little is known about the effects of GPR55, a candidate cannabinoid receptor, activation on reductions of neurogenesis in response to inflammatory insult.

In the present study, we examined NSCs exposed to IL-1β in vitro to assess inflammation-caused effects on NSC differentiation and the ability of GPR55 agonists to attenuate NSC injury.

Taken together, these results suggest a neuroprotective role of GPR55 activation on NSCs in vitro and in vivo and that GPR55 provides a novel therapeutic target against negative regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis by inflammatory insult.”

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The endocannabinoid signaling system in cancer

Image result for trends in pharmacological sciences“Changes in lipid metabolism are intimately related to cancer. Several classes of bioactive lipids play roles in the regulation of signaling pathways involved in neoplastic transformation and tumor growth and progression.

The endocannabinoid system, comprising lipid-derived endocannabinoids, their G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and the enzymes for their metabolism, is emerging as a promising therapeutic target in cancer.

This report highlights the main signaling pathways for the antitumor effects of the endocannabinoid system in cancer and its basic role in cancer pathogenesis, and discusses the alternative view of cannabinoid receptors as tumor promoters.

We focus on new players in the antitumor action of the endocannabinoid system and on emerging crosstalk among cannabinoid receptors and other membrane or nuclear receptors involved in cancer. We also discuss the enzyme MAGL, a key player in endocannabinoid metabolism that was recently recognized as a marker of tumor lipogenic phenotype.”

https://www.cell.com/trends/pharmacological-sciences/fulltext/S0165-6147(13)00044-8?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0165614713000448%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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Translational potential of allosteric modulators targeting the cannabinoid CB1 receptor.

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“The cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor, a G-protein-coupled receptor, is an attractive target for drug discovery due to its involvement in many physiological processes. Historically, drug discovery efforts targeting the CB1 receptor have focused on the development of orthosteric ligands that interact with the active site to which endogenous cannabinoids bind. Research performed over the last several decades has revealed substantial difficulties in translating CB1 orthosteric ligands into druggable candidates. The difficulty is mainly due to the adverse effects associated with orthosteric CB1 ligands. Recent discoveries of allosteric CB1 modulators provide tremendous opportunities to develop CB1 ligands with novel mechanisms of action; these ligands may potentially improve the pharmacological effects and enhance drug safety in treating the disorders by regulating the functions of the CB1 receptor. In this paper, we review and summarize the complex pharmacological profiles of each class of CB1 allosteric modulators, the development of new classes of CB1 allosteric modulators and the results from in vivo assessments of their therapeutic value.”

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Bortezomib And Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid System: A Synergism In Osteosarcoma.

Pharmacological Research

“Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone in children and adolescents.

Bortezomib (BTZ) is an approved anticancer drug, classified as a selective reversible inhibitor of the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome system, that leads to cancer cell cycle arrest and apoptosis reducing the invasion ability of Osteosarcoma cells in vitro. It also regulates the RANK/RANKL/OPG system, involved in the pathogenesis of bone tumors and in cell migration.

A side effect of BTZ is to induce painful sensory peripheral neuropathy which lead to cessation of therapy or dose reduction.

Recently BTZ has been evaluated in combination with Cannabinoids targeting CB1 receptor, demonstrating a promising synergic effect.

The Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid (EC/EV) system includes two G protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2), the Transient Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel and their endogenous ligands and enzymes.

CB1 and CB2 are expressed mainly in Central Nervous System and Immune Peripheral cells respectively. TRPV1 is also expressed in primary sensory neurons and is involved in pain modulation.

EC/EV system induces apoptosis, reduces invasion and cell proliferation in Osteosarcoma cell lines and is involved in bone metabolism.

We analyzed the effects of BTZ, alone and in combination with selective agonists at CB2 (JWH-133) and TRPV1 (RTX) receptors, in the Osteosarcoma cell line (HOS) on Apoptosis, Cell Cycle progression, migration and bone balance. We observed that the stimulation of CB2 and TRPV1 receptors increase the efficacy of BTZ in inducing apoptosis and reducing invasion, cell cycle progression and by modulating bone balance.

These data suggest the possibility to use BTZ, in combination with EC/EV agonists, in Osteosarcoma therapy reducing its dose and its side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30267762

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661818310387

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