Journal article Open Access
Piñeiro, Roberto; Falasca, Marco
Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) is a bioactive lipid generated by phospholipase A2 which is believed to play an important role in several diseases. Indeed LPI can affect various functions such as cell growth, differentiation and motility, in a number of cell-types, including cancer cells, endothelial cells and nervous cells. Despite the fact that LPI-induced cellular functions had been known for more than twenty years, the recent discovery that in several cell-types the orphan G protein-coupled receptor GPR55 acts as the specific receptor for LPI has fuelled novel interest in this lysolipid. Different research groups, including our own, have recently suggested that LPI may be the specific and functional ligand for GPR55, triggering signalling cascades that are relevant to cell proliferation, migration, survival and tumourigenesis. Recently published data suggest that the LPI/GPR55 axis plays an important role in different physiological and pathological contexts. Here we review the available data supporting the role of LPI in cell signalling and the pharmacology of its putative receptor GPR55.