GPR12 is a constitutively active, Gs protein-coupled receptor that currently has no confirmed endogenous ligands. GPR12 may be involved in physiological processes such as maintenance of oocyte meiotic arrest and brain development, as well as pathological conditions such as metastatic cancer. In this study, the potential effects of various classes of cannabinoids on GPR12 were tested using a cAMP accumulation assay. Our data demonstrate that cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, acted as an inverse agonist to inhibit cAMP accumulation stimulated by the constitutively active GPR12. Thus, GPR12 is a novel molecular target for CBD. The structure-activity relationship studies of CBD indicate that both the free hydroxyl and the pentyl side chain are crucial for the effects of CBD on GPR12. Furthermore, studies using cholera toxin, which blocks Gs protein and pertussis toxin, which blocks Gi protein, revealed that Gs, but not Gi is involved in the inverse agonism of CBD on GPR12. CBD is a promising novel therapeutic agent for cancer, and GPR12 has been shown to alter viscoelasticity of metastatic cancer cells. Since we have demonstrated that CBD is an inverse agonist for GPR12, this provides novel mechanism of action for CBD, and an initial chemical scaffold upon which highly potent and efficacious agents acting on GPR12 may be developed with the ultimate goal of blocking cancer metastasis.
Keywords: Cannabidiol; GPR12; Inverse agonist; Orphan receptor.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.