The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 promotes cancer cell proliferation

Oncogene. 2011 Jan 13;30(2):139-41. doi: 10.1038/onc.2010.502. Epub 2010 Nov 8.


Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in marijuana, have dramatic effects on various organ systems. They exert their effects through two receptor types: CB1, primarily located in the brain, and CB2, primarily located in the immune system. Vertebrates also produce their own cannabinoid-like substances called endocannabinoids, including anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyceral. Interestingly, some effects of endocannabinoids could not be explained by the signals through either CB1 or CB2. Recently, the orphan G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) was proposed to be an atypical cannabinoid receptor. In this issue of Oncogene, two groups demonstrated that GPR55 is expressed in various cancer types in an aggressiveness-related manner, suggesting a novel cancer biomarker and a potential therapeutic target.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / genetics
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Cannabinoids
  • GPR55 protein, human
  • GPR55 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled