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The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 promotes cancer cell proliferation


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.

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Correspondence to Y Shi.

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Hu, G., Ren, G. & Shi, Y. The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 promotes cancer cell proliferation. Oncogene 30, 139–141 (2011).

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