University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus
Supervisor: Antti Poso
Development of activity-assays for the orphan GPR55-receptor and determination of metabolic pathways for its endogenous ligands
The large family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is an established target of several marketed drugs and includes numerous orphan receptors, i.e. receptors that are lacking well-validated endogenous ligands. GPR55 is one of these target receptors of de-orphanization. Curiously, GPR55 has been reported to be activated by cannabinoid receptor ligands but also, by the non-cannabinoid lipid lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI). The fact that GPR55 is expressed at relatively low levels in native tissues has directed laboratories to develop specific cell lines expressing GPR55 for testing biological ligand activities and for revealing mechanisms of signaling pathways. In this particular project, our goal is to develop suitable cellular models expressing GPR55 that can be exploited in screening of novel synthetic GPR55-ligand activities using a high throughput assay format and finally, to investigate signaling and metabolic pathways for the putative endogenous GPR55 ligands.