Research from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and the College of Medicine identified a new compound that could serve as the basis for developing a new class of anti-diabetic drugs.
The study results are published online in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (Ampk) is a crucial enzyme that is involved in recording the body’s energy stores in cells. Impairment of energy metabolism occurs in obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Some drugs used to treat diabetes, such as metformin, make Ampk more active.
“In our study, we discovered a protein that is involved in the removal of Ampk from cells called Fbxo48. We developed and tested a compound called BC1618 that blocks Fbxo48 and is much more effective than metformin at increasing Ampk function. BC1618 improved insulin responses, a measure of the effectiveness of diabetes drugs in obese mice, “said Dr. Rama K. Mallampalli, senior author and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio.
Mallampalli began this research at the University of Pittsburgh before moving to the state of Ohio and continued to work with researchers there to complete the study.
“This study builds on our previous research to understand how critical proteins are removed or broken down in the body. The research team had previously developed and manufactured a family of anti-inflammatory drugs that are FDA approved and about to enter are in phase 1 studies. ” Said Mallampalli. “With this new compound as the backbone, our team, including Dr. Bill Chen and Dr. Yuan Liu in Pittsburgh, will create other compounds that are more effective and safer in animal models and then test them in animal models of diabetes. Ultimately, we want to preserve them FDA approval for human testing. “
Mallampalli reports financial interest in the University of Pittsburgh licensed compound.
This work is supported by the American Heart Association. US Department of Health; US National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; National Institutes of Health and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Administration.
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Materials provided by Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Note: The content can be edited by style and length.