2-Arachidonoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoinositol: a possible natural ligand for GPR55

J Biochem. 2009 Jan;145(1):13-20. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvn136. Epub 2008 Oct 9.


GPR55 is a G protein-coupled receptor. Recently, we obtained evidence that lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) is a possible endogenous ligand for GPR55. However, no information is currently available concerning the biological activities of the individual molecular species of LPI. Furthermore, little is known concerning the levels as well as the molecular species of LPI in mammalian tissues. In this study, we first examined whether LPI is present in rat brain. We found that rat brain contains 37.5 nmol/g tissue of LPI; the most predominant fatty acyl moiety is stearic acid (50.5%) followed by arachidonic acid (22.1%). We next compared the biological activities of various molecular species of LPI and related molecules using HEK293 cells expressing GPR55. We found that the level of biological activity of the 2-arachidonoyl species is markedly higher than those of others. These results strongly suggest that the 2-arachidonoyl species of LPI is the true natural ligand for GPR55.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lysophospholipids / analysis
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • GPR55 protein, human
  • Ligands
  • Lysophospholipids
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • arachidonyl phosphatidylinositol
  • lysophosphatidylinositol
  • Calcium