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Life Sci. 2005 Aug 19;77(14):1667-73.

Cannabinoid receptor homo- and heterodimerization.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Box 356540, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6540, USA.


CB1 cannabinoid receptors mediate the psychoactive effects of Delta(9)THC and actions of the endogenous cannabinoids [Howlett, A.C., Barth, F., Bonner, T.I., Cabral, G., Casellas, P., Devane, W.A., Felder, C.C., Herkenham, M., Mackie, K., Martin, B.R., Mechoulam, R., Pertwee, R.G., 2002. International Union of Pharmacology: XXVII. Classification of cannabinoid receptors. Pharmacological Reviews 54 (2) 161-202.]. CB1 receptors belong to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily. In recent years, it has become apparent that many GPCRs exist as multimers--either of like or unlike receptors [Kroeger, K.M., Pfleger, K.D., Eidne, K.A., 2003. G-protein coupled receptor oligomerization in neuroendocrine pathways. Frontiers of Neuroendocrinology 24 (4) 254-278; Milligan, G., 2004. G protein-coupled receptor dimerization: function and ligand pharmacology. Molecular Pharmacology 66 (1) 1-7.]. Importantly, GPCR multimerization plays a key role in enriching the signaling repertoire of these receptors. In this review, the evidence for CB1 multimerization will be presented, the implications for cannabinoid signaling discussed, and possible future directions for this research considered.

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