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1.  Integrin clustering enables anandamide-induced Ca2+ signaling in endothelial cells via GPR55 by protection against CB1-receptor-triggered repression 
Journal of cell science  2008;121(0 10):1704-1717.
Summary
Although the endocannabinoid anandamide is frequently described to act predominantly in the cardiovascular system, the molecular mechanisms of its signaling remained unclear. In human endothelial cells, two receptors for anandamide were found, which were characterized as cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R; CNR1) and G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55). Both receptors trigger distinct signaling pathways. It crucially depends on the activation status of integrins which signaling cascade becomes promoted upon anandamide stimulation. Under conditions of inactive integrins, anandamide initiates CB1R-derived signaling, including Gi-protein-mediated activation of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), resulting in NFκB translocation. Furthermore, Syk inhibits phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) that represents a key protein in the transduction of GPR55-originated signaling. However, once integrins are clustered, CB1R splits from integrins and, thus, Syk cannot further inhibit GPR55-triggered signaling resulting in intracellular Ca2+ mobilization from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) via a PI3K-Bmx-phospholipase C (PLC) pathway and activation of nuclear factor of activated T-cells. Altogether, these data demonstrate that the physiological effects of anandamide on endothelial cells depend on the status of integrin clustering.
doi:10.1242/jcs.020958
PMCID: PMC4067516  PMID: 18445684
Anandamide; Bmx/Etk; Cannabinoid signaling; CB1 receptor; GPR55; Ca2+ signaling; Integrins; Syk
2.  Enhanced Effector Function of CD8+ T Cells From Healthy Controls and HIV-Infected Patients Occurs Through Thrombin Activation of Protease-Activated Receptor 1 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;207(4):638-650.
Disruption of vascular integrity by trauma and other tissue insults leads to inflammation and activation of the coagulation cascade. The serine protease thrombin links these 2 processes. The proinflammatory function of thrombin is mediated by activation of protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1). We found that peripheral blood effector memory CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes expressed PAR-1 and that expression was increased in CD8+ T cells from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients. Thrombin enhanced cytokine secretion in CD8+ T cells from healthy controls and HIV-infected patients. In addition, thrombin induced chemokinesis, but not chemotaxis, of CD8+ T cells, which led to structural changes, including cell polarization and formation of a structure rich in F-actin and phosphorylated ezrin-radexin-moesin proteins. These findings suggest that thrombin mediates cross-talk between the coagulation system and the adaptive immune system at sites of vascular injury through increased T-cell motility and production of proinflammatory cytokines.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis730
PMCID: PMC3549602  PMID: 23204166
PAR-1; T cells; thrombin; HIV pathogenesis; coagulation; inflammation
3.  Regulator of G-Protein Signaling–5 Inhibits Bronchial Smooth Muscle Contraction in Severe Asthma 
Severe asthma is associated with fixed airway obstruction attributable to inflammation, copious luminal mucus, and increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass. Paradoxically, studies demonstrated that the hypertrophic and hyperplastic ASM characteristic of severe asthma has reduced contractile capacity. We compared the G-protein–coupled receptor (GPCR)–induced Ca2+ mobilization and expression of GPCRs and signaling proteins related to procontractile signaling in ASM derived postmortem from subjects who died of nonrespiratory causes, with cells from subjects who died of asthma. Despite the increased or comparable expression of contraction-promoting GPCRs (bradykinin B2 or histamine H1 and protease-activated receptor 1, respectively) in asthmatic ASM cells relative to cells from healthy donors, asthmatic ASM cells exhibited reduced histamine-induced Ca2+ mobilization and comparable responses to bradykinin and thrombin, suggesting a postreceptor signaling defect. Accordingly, the expression of regulator of G-protein signaling–5 (RGS5), an inhibitor of ASM contraction, was increased in cultured, asthmatic ASM cells and in bronchial smooth muscle bundles of both human subjects with asthma and allergen-challenged mice, relative to those of healthy human subjects or naive mice. The overexpression of RGS5 impaired the release of Ca2+ to thrombin, histamine, and carbachol, and reduced the contraction of precision-cut lung slices to carbachol. These results suggest that increased RGS5 expression contributes to decreased myocyte shortening in severe and fatal asthma.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2011-0110OC
PMCID: PMC3380291  PMID: 22281988
asthma; bronchial smooth muscle; signal transduction; G-protein–coupled receptors
5.  GPR55 regulates cannabinoid 2 receptor-mediated responses in human neutrophils 
Cell Research  2011;21(10):1452-1469.
The directional migration of neutrophils towards inflammatory mediators, such as chemokines and cannabinoids, occurs via the activation of seven transmembrane G protein coupled receptors (7TM/GPCRs) and is a highly organized process. A crucial role for controlling neutrophil migration has been ascribed to the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R), but additional modulatory sites distinct from CB2R have recently been suggested to impact CB2R-mediated effector functions in neutrophils. Here, we provide evidence that the recently de-orphanized 7TM/GPCR GPR55 potently modulates CB2R-mediated responses. We show that GPR55 is expressed in human blood neutrophils and its activation augments the migratory response towards the CB2R agonist 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), while inhibiting neutrophil degranulation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Using HEK293 and HL60 cell lines, along with primary neutrophils, we show that GPR55 and CB2R interfere with each other's signaling pathways at the level of small GTPases, such as Rac2 and Cdc42. This ultimately leads to cellular polarization and efficient migration as well as abrogation of degranulation and ROS formation in neutrophils. Therefore, GPR55 limits the tissue-injuring inflammatory responses mediated by CB2R, while it synergizes with CB2R in recruiting neutrophils to sites of inflammation.
doi:10.1038/cr.2011.60
PMCID: PMC3132458  PMID: 21467997
GPR55; CB2R; chemotaxis; ROS production; Rac2; Cdc42
6.  GPR55 regulates cannabinoid 2 receptor-mediated responses in human neutrophils 
Cell research  2011;21(10):1452-1469.
The directional migration of neutrophils towards inflammatory mediators, such as chemokines and cannabinoids, occurs via the activation of seven transmembrane spanning/G protein coupled receptors (7TM/GPCRs) and is a highly organized process. A crucial role for controlling neutrophil migration has been ascribed to the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R), but additional modulatory sites distinct from CB2R have recently been suggested to impact CB2R-mediated effector functions in neutrophils. Here, we provide evidence that the recently de-orphanized 7TM/GPCR GPR55 potently modulates CB2R-mediated responses. We show that GPR55 is expressed in human blood neutrophils and its activation augments the migratory response towards the CB2R agonist 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), whilst inhibiting the degranulation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Using HEK293 and HL60 cell lines, along with primary neutrophils, we show that the GPR55 and the cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2R) interfere with each other’s signaling pathways at the level of small GTPases, such as Rac2 and Cdc42. This ultimately leads to cellular polarization and efficient migration but abrogation of degranulation and ROS formation in neutrophils. Therefore, GPR55 limits the tissue-injuring inflammatory responses mediated by CB2R, while it synergizes with CB2R in recruiting neutrophils to sites of inflammation.
doi:10.1038/cr.2011.60
PMCID: PMC3132458  PMID: 21467997
GPR55; CB2R; Chemotaxis; ROS production; Rac2; Cdc42
7.  Impaired Rho GTPase activation abrogates cell polarization and migration in macrophages with defective lipolysis 
Infiltration of monocytes and macrophages into the site of inflammation is critical in the progression of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis. Cell migration is dependent on the continuous organization of the actin cytoskeleton, which is regulated by members of the small Rho GTPase family (RhoA, Cdc42, Rac) that are also important for the regulation of signal transduction pathways. We have recently reported on reduced plaque formation in an atherosclerotic mouse model transplanted with bone marrow from adipose triglyceride lipase-deficient (Atgl−/−) mice. Here we provide evidence that defective lipolysis in macrophages lacking ATGL, the major enzyme responsible for triacylglycerol hydrolysis, favors an anti-inflammatory M2-like macrophage phenotype. Our data implicate an as yet unrecognized principle that insufficient lipolysis influences macrophage polarization and actin polymerization, resulting in impaired macrophage migration. Sustained phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase [due to inactivation of its phosphatase by elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS)] results in defective Cdc42, Rac1 and RhoA activation and in increased and sustained activation of Rac2. Inhibition of ROS production restores the migratory capacity of Atgl−/− macrophages. Since monocyte and macrophage migration are a prerequisite for infiltrating the arterial wall, our results provide a molecular link between lipolysis and the development of atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0688-4
PMCID: PMC3214256  PMID: 21533980
Lipolysis; Small Rho GTPases; Adipose triglyceride lipase; Macrophages; Cytoskeleton; Atherosclerosis
9.  Impaired Rho GTPase activation abrogates cell polarization and migration in macrophages with defective lipolysis 
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences  2011;68(23):3933-3947.
Infiltration of monocytes and macrophages into the site of inflammation is critical in the progression of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis. Cell migration is dependent on the continuous organization of the actin cytoskeleton, which is regulated by members of the small Rho GTPase family (RhoA, Cdc42, Rac) that are also important for the regulation of signal transduction pathways. We have recently reported on reduced plaque formation in an atherosclerotic mouse model transplanted with bone marrow from adipose triglyceride lipase-deficient (Atgl−/−) mice. Here we provide evidence that defective lipolysis in macrophages lacking ATGL, the major enzyme responsible for triacylglycerol hydrolysis, favors an anti-inflammatory M2-like macrophage phenotype. Our data implicate an as yet unrecognized principle that insufficient lipolysis influences macrophage polarization and actin polymerization, resulting in impaired macrophage migration. Sustained phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase [due to inactivation of its phosphatase by elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS)] results in defective Cdc42, Rac1 and RhoA activation and in increased and sustained activation of Rac2. Inhibition of ROS production restores the migratory capacity of Atgl−/− macrophages. Since monocyte and macrophage migration are a prerequisite for infiltrating the arterial wall, our results provide a molecular link between lipolysis and the development of atherosclerosis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0688-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0688-4
PMCID: PMC3214256  PMID: 21533980
Lipolysis; Small Rho GTPases; Adipose triglyceride lipase; Macrophages; Cytoskeleton; Atherosclerosis

Results 1-15 (15)