Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 162 (2023) 114678.


Open access.


Guanine nucleotide binding protein (G protein) coupled receptor 17 (GPR17) plays crucial role in Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cell signaling and is primarily associated with reactive oxidative species (ROS) production and cell death. However, the underlying mechanisms by which GPR17 regulates ROS level and mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) complexes are still unknown. Here, we investigate the novel link between the GPR17 receptor and ETC complex I and III in regulating level of intracellular ROS (ROSi) in GBM using pharmacological inhibitors and gene expression profiling. Incubation of 1321N1 GBM cells with ETC I inhibitor and GPR17 agonist decreased the ROS level, while treatment with GPR17 antagonist increased the ROS level. Also, inhibition of ETC III and activation of GPR17 increased the ROS level whereas opposite function was observed with antagonist interaction. The similar functional role was also observed in multiple GBM cells, LN229 and SNB19, where ROS level increased in the presence of Complex III inhibitor. The level of ROS varies in Complex I inhibitor and GPR17 antagonist treatment conditions suggesting that ETC I function differs depending on the GBM cell line. RNAseq analysis revealed that ~ 500 genes were commonly expressed in both SNB19 and LN229, in which 25 genes are involved in ROS pathway. Furthermore, 33 dysregulated genes were observed to be involved in mitochondria function and 36 genes of complex I-V involved in ROS pathway. Further analysis revealed that induction of GPR17 leads to loss of function of NADH dehydrogenase genes involved in ETC I, while cytochrome b and Ubiquinol Cytochrome c Reductase family genes in ETC III. Overall, our findings suggest that mitochondrial ETC III bypass ETC I to increase ROSi in GPR17 signaling activation in GBM and could provide new opportunities for developing targeted therapy for GBM.