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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2018 Mar;39(3):459-471. doi: 10.1038/aps.2017.157. Epub 2017 Nov 30.

The LPI/GPR55 axis enhances human breast cancer cell migration via HBXIP and p-MLC signaling.

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Public R&D Center of Bio-Manufacture, Hebei University of Science and Technology, Shijiazhuang 050018, China.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan.
College of Chemical Engineering, Shijiazhuang University, Shijiazhuang 050035, China.


The G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) is expressed in multiple tissues, and has been implicated in cancer pathogenesis, but little is known about its role in the migratory behavior of cancer cells, particularly breast cancer cells. In this study we first showed that GPR55 expression levels in 38 metastatic lymph nodes of breast cancer patients were profoundly elevated, and were positively associated in human breast cancer cells with their migratory ability. Moreover, the plasma levels of GPR55 endogenous agonist L-a-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) were significantly increased in breast cancer patients compared with healthy individuals. In human breast cancer LM-MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, treatment with LPI (2.5 ╬╝mol/L) significantly increased filopodia formation and resulted in cell migration, which could be blocked either by the GPR55 antagonist CID16020046 or by siRNA-mediated GPR55 knockdown. Furthermore, dual-luciferase report gene assays showed that GPR55 upregulated HBXIP at the promoter; GPR55 expression levels were positively correlated with HBXIP expression levels in breast cancer tissues and 8 breast cancer cell lines. We also showed that the LPI/GPR55 axis promoted the migration of breast cancer cells via two mutually exclusive pathways - the HBXIP/p-ERK1/2/Capn4 and MLCK/MLC signaling pathways. In xenograft nude mouse model, loss of GPR55 mainly affected breast cancer cell metastasis and the formation of metastatic foci. Thus, GPR55 is involved in the migratory behavior of human breast cancer cells and could serve as a pharmacological target for preventing metastasis.

[Available on 2019-03-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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