Towards A Molecular Understanding of The Cannabinoid Related Orphan Receptor GPR18: A Focus on Its Constitutive Activity.

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“The orphan G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), GPR18, has been recently proposed as a potential member of the cannabinoid family as it recognizes several endogenous, phytogenic, and synthetic cannabinoids. Potential therapeutic applications for GPR18 include intraocular pressure, metabolic disorders, and cancer. GPR18 has been reported to have high constitutive activity, i.e., activation/signaling occurs in the absence of an agonist. This activity can be reduced significantly by the A3.39N mutation. At the intracellular (IC) ends of (transmembrane helices) TMH3 and TMH6 in GPCRs, typically, a pair of oppositely charged amino acids form a salt bridge called the “ionic lock”. Breaking of this salt bridge creates an IC opening for coupling with G protein. The GPR18 “ionic lock” residues (R3.50/S6.33) can form only a hydrogen bond. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that the high constitutive activity of GPR18 is due to the weakness of its “ionic lock” and that the A3.39N mutation strengthens this lock. To this end, we report molecular dynamics simulations of wild-type (WT) GPR18 and the A3.39N mutant in fully hydrated (POPC) phophatidylcholine lipid bilayers. Results suggest that in the A3.39N mutant, TMH6 rotates and brings R3.50 and S6.33 closer together, thus strengthening the GPR18 “ionic lock”.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31075933

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/9/2300

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The Endocannabinoid System as a Target in Cancer Diseases: Are We There Yet?

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been placed in the anti-cancer spotlight in the last decade. The immense data load published on its dual role in both tumorigenesis and inhibition of tumor growth and metastatic spread has transformed the cannabinoid receptors CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 (CB2R), and other members of the endocannabinoid-like system, into attractive new targets for the treatment of various cancer subtypes.

Although the clinical use of cannabinoids has been extensively documented in the palliative setting, clinical trials on their application as anti-cancer drugs are still ongoing. As drug repurposing is significantly faster and more economical than de novo introduction of a new drug into the clinic, there is hope that the existing pharmacokinetic and safety data on the ECS ligands will contribute to their successful translation into oncological healthcare.

CB1R and CB2R are members of a large family of membrane proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). GPCRs can form homodimers, heterodimers and higher order oligomers with other GPCRs or non-GPCRs. Currently, several CB1R and CB2R-containing heteromers have been reported and, in cancer cells, CB2R form heteromers with the G protein-coupled chemokine receptor CXCR4, the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) and the tyrosine kinase receptor (TKR) human V-Erb-B2 Avian Erythroblastic Leukemia Viral Oncogene Homolog 2 (HER2).

These protein complexes possess unique pharmacological and signaling properties, and their modulation might affect the antitumoral activity of the ECS. This review will explore the potential of the endocannabinoid network in the anti-cancer setting as well as the clinical and ethical pitfalls behind it, and will develop on the value of cannabinoid receptor heteromers as potential new targets for anti-cancer therapies and as prognostic biomarkers.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31024307

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00339/full

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Future Aspects for Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer Therapy.

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“Cannabinoids (CBs) from Cannabis sativa provide relief for tumor-associated symptoms (including nausea, anorexia, and neuropathic pain) in the palliative treatment of cancer patients.

Additionally, they may decelerate tumor progression in breast cancer patients.

Indeed, the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models.

The effects of CBs on signaling pathways in cancer cells are conferred via G-protein coupled CB-receptors (CB-Rs), CB1-R and CB2-R, but also via other receptors, and in a receptor-independent way.

THC is a partial agonist for CB1-R and CB2-R; CBD is an inverse agonist for both.

In breast cancer, CB1-R expression is moderate, but CB2-R expression is high, which is related to tumor aggressiveness. CBs block cell cycle progression and cell growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis by inhibiting constitutive active pro-oncogenic signaling pathways, such as the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase pathway.

They reduce angiogenesis and tumor metastasis in animal breast cancer models. CBs are not only active against estrogen receptor-positive, but also against estrogen-resistant breast cancer cells. In human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer cells, blocking protein kinase B- and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling via CB2-R prevents tumor progression and metastasis.

Furthermore, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), including tamoxifen, bind to CB-Rs; this process may contribute to the growth inhibitory effect of SERMs in cancer cells lacking the estrogen receptor.

In summary, CBs are already administered to breast cancer patients at advanced stages of the disease, but they might also be effective at earlier stages to decelerate tumor progression.”

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GPR55 – a putative “type 3” cannabinoid receptor in inflammation.

“G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) shares numerous cannabinoid ligands with CB1 and CB2 receptors despite low homology with those classical cannabinoid receptors. The pharmacology of GPR55 is not yet fully elucidated; however, GPR55 utilizes a different signaling system and downstream cascade associated with the receptor. Therefore, GPR55 has emerged as a putative “type 3″ cannabinoid receptor, establishing a novel class of cannabinoid receptor. Furthermore, the recent evidence of GPR55-CB1 and GPR55-CB2 heteromerization along with its broad distribution from central nervous system to peripheries suggests the importance of GPR55 in various cellular processes and pathologies and as a potential therapeutic target in inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26669245

https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jbcpp.2016.27.issue-3/jbcpp-2015-0080/jbcpp-2015-0080.xml

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Novel protective effect of O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol, GPR55 agonists, on ER stress-induced apoptosis in pancreatic β-cells.

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy

“Insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction are the main defects in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), and β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis is the critical determinant in the progression of T2DM. G-protein coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) is an orphan G-protein coupled receptor, which is activated by endocannabinoids and lipid transmitters. Recently, GPR55 was shown to regulate glucose and energy homeostasis, however its role in β-cell apoptosis was not studied. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the novel effect of GPR55 agonists, O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol (Abn-CBD), on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced apoptosis in mouse pancreatic β-cell lines, MIN6 and Beta-TC-6, and its underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that O-1602 and Abn-CBD reduced ER stress-induced apoptosis in MIN6 and Beta-TC-6 cells. This was through the phosphorylation of 3′-5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB) in β-cells, hence activating CREB downstream anti-apoptotic genes, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Moreover, O-1602 and Abn-CBD directly activated kinases, CaMKIV, Erk1/2 and PKA, to induce CREB phosphorylation. Therefore, our results indicated that GPR55 agonists protected from β-cell apoptosis through CREB activation, thus up-regulating anti-apoptotic genes. In conclusion, our study provided a novel protective effect of GPR55 agonists on ER stress-induced apoptosis in β-cells and its underlying mechanisms mediating this protection, therefore we suggested that GPR55 might be a therapeutic target for T2DM.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30841431

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332218375668?via%3Dihub

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New Insights of Uterine Leiomyoma Pathogenesis: Endocannabinoid System.

 

“The aim of this study was to determine if components of the endocannabinoid system are modulated in uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). Components studied included cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2); the G protein-coupled receptor GPR55; transient potential vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and the endocannabinoid modulating enzymes N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and their N-acylethanolamine (NAE) ligands: N-arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), N-oleoylethanolamine (OEA), and N-palmityolethanaolamine (PEA). MATERIAL AND METHODS Transcript levels of CB1, CB2, TRPV1, GPR55, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH were measured using RT-PCR and correlated with the tissue levels of the 3 NAEs in myometrial tissues. The tissues studied were: 1) fibroids, 2) myometrium adjacent/juxtaposed to the fibroid lesions, and 3) normal myometrium. Thirty-seven samples were processed for NAE measurements and 28 samples were used for RT-PCR analyses. RESULTS FAAH expression was significantly lower in fibroids, resulting in a NAPE-PLD: FAAH ratio that favors higher AEA levels in pre-menopausal tissues, whilst PEA levels were significantly lower, particularly in post-menopausal women, suggesting PEA protects against fibroid pathogenesis. The CB1: CB2 ratio was lower in fibroids, suggesting that loss of CB1 expression affects the fibroid cell phenotype. Significant correlations between reduced FAAH, CB1, and GPR55 expression and PEA in fibroids indicate that the loss of these endocannabinoid system components are biomarkers of leiomyomata. CONCLUSIONS Loss of expression of CB1, FAAH, GPR55, and PEA production are linked to the pathogenesis of uterine fibroids and further understanding of this might eventually lead to better disease indicators or the development of therapeutic potentials that might eventually be used in the management of uterine fibroids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30842391

https://basic.medscimonit.com/abstract/index/idArt/914019

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New Insights in Cannabinoid Receptor Structure and Signaling.

“Cannabinoid has long been used for medicinal purposes. Cannabinoid signaling has been considered the therapeutic targets for treating pain, addiction, obesity, inflammation, and other diseases. Recent studies have suggested that in addition to CB1 and CB2, there are non-CB1 and non-CB2 cannabinoid-related orphan GPCRs including GPR18, GPR55, and GPR119. In addition, CB1 and CB2 display allosteric binding and biased signaling, revealing correlations between biased signaling and functional outcomes. Interestingly, new investigations have indicated that CB1 is functionally present within mitochondria of striated and heart muscles directly regulating intramitochondrial signaling and respiration.

CONCLUSION:

In this review, we summarize the recent progress in cannabinoid-related orphan GPCRs, CB1/CB2 structure, Gi/Gs coupling, allosteric ligands and biased signaling, and mitochondria-localized CB1, and discuss the future promise of this research.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30767756

http://www.eurekaselect.com/170011/article

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Potential Use of Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer.

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Cannabinoid extracts may have anticancer properties, which can improve cancer treatment outcomes.

The aim of this review is to determine the potentially utility of cannabinoids in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Results: Cannabinol receptors have been identified in pancreatic cancer with several studies showing in vitroantiproliferative and proapoptotic effects. The main active substances found in cannabis plants are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There effects are predominately mediated through, but not limited to cannabinoid receptor-1, cannabinoid receptor-2, and G-protein-coupled receptor 55 pathways. In vitro studies consistently demonstrated tumor growth-inhibiting effects with CBD, THC, and synthetic derivatives. Synergistic treatment effects have been shown in two studies with the combination of CBD/synthetic cannabinoid receptor ligands and chemotherapy in xenograft and genetically modified spontaneous pancreatic cancer models. There are, however, no clinical studies to date showing treatment benefits in patients with pancreatic cancer.

Conclusions: Cannabinoids may be an effective adjunct for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Data on the anticancer effectiveness of various cannabinoid formulations, treatment dosing, precise mode of action, and clinical studies are lacking.”

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Cannabinoids and Bone Regeneration.

 Publication Cover“Bone is a complex tissue of the with unique properties such as high strength and regeneration capabilities while carrying out multiple functions. Bone regeneration occurs both in physiological situations (bone turnover) and pathological situations (e.g. fractures), being performed by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. If this process is inadequate, fracture nonunion or aseptic loosening of implants occurs and requires a complex treatment.

Exogenous factors are currently used to increase bone regeneration process when needed, such as bisphosphonates and vitamin D, but limitations do exist. Cannabinoid system has been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism. Cannabinoids at bone level mainly act on two receptors called CB-1 and CB-2, but GPR55, GPR119, TPRV1, TPRV4 receptors may also be involved. The CB-2 receptors are found in bone cells at higher levels compared to other receptors.

Endocannabinods represented by anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, can stimulate osteoblast formation, bone formation and osteoclast activity. CB-2 agonists including HU-308, HU-433, JWH133 and JWH015 can stimulate osteoblast proliferation and activity, while CB-2 antagonists such as AM630 and SR144528 can inhibit osteoclast differentiation and function. CB-1 antagonist AM251 has been shown to inhibit osteoclast differentiation and activity, while GPR55 antagonist cannabidiol increases osteoblast activity and decreases osteoclast function.

An optimal correlation of dose, duration, moment of action and affinity can lead to an increased bone regeneration capacity, with important benefits in many pathological situations which involve bone tissue. As adverse reactions of cannabinoids haven’t been described in patients under controlled medication, cannabinoids can represent future treatment for bone regeneration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30702341

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03602532.2019.1574303?journalCode=idmr20

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Targeting CB1 and GPR55 Endocannabinoid Receptors as a Potential Neuroprotective Approach for Parkinson’s Disease.

 “Cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R) and the GPR55 receptor are expressed in striatum and are potential targets in the therapy of Parkinson’s disease (PD), one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases in developed countries.

The aim of this paper was to address the potential of ligands acting on those receptors to prevent the action of a neurotoxic agent, MPP+, that specifically affects neurons of the substantia nigra due to uptake via the dopamine DAT transporter.

These results show that neurons expressing heteromers are more resistant to cell death but question the real usefulness of CB1R, GPR55, and their heteromers as targets to afford PD-related neuroprotection.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30687889

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12035-019-1495-4

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