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Mol Pharm January 1, 2021; 18 (8): 2906-2923.
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Stapled, Long-Acting Xenopus GLP-1-Based Dual GLP-1/Glucagon Receptor Agonists with Potent Therapeutic Efficacy for Metabolic Disease.

Han C , Sun Y , Yang Q , Zhou F , Chen X , Wu L , Sun L , Han J .

Novel peptidic glucagon receptor (GCGR) and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) dual agonists are reported to have increased efficacy over GLP-1R monoagonists for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. We identified a novel Xenopus GLP-1-based dual GLP-1R/GCGR agonist (xGLP/GCG-13) designed with a proper activity ratio favoring the GLP-1R versus the GCGR. However, the clinical utility of xGLP/GCG-13 is limited by its short in vivo half-life. Starting from xGLP/GCG-13, dual Cys mutation was performed, followed by covalent side-chain stapling and serum albumin binder incorporation, resulting in a stabilized secondary structure, enhanced agonist potency at GLP-1R and GCGR, and improved stability. The lead peptide 2c (stapled xGLP/GCG-13 analogue with a palmitic acid albumin binder) exhibits balanced GLP-1R and GCGR activations and potent, long-lasting effects on in vivo glucose control. 2c was further explored pharmacologically in diet-induced obesity and db/db rodent models. Chronic administration of 2c potently induced body weight loss and hypoglycemic effects, improved glucose tolerance, increased energy expenditure, and normalized lipid metabolism and adiposity in relevant animal models. These results indicated that 2c has potential for development as a novel antidiabetic and/or antiobesity drug. Furthermore, we propose that the incorporation of a proper serum protein-binding motif into a di-Cys staple is an effective method for improving the stabilities and bioactivities of peptides. This approach is likely applicable to other therapeutic peptides, such as glucose-dependent insulin-tropic peptide receptor (GIPR) and GLP-1R dual agonists or GLP-1R/GCGR/GIPR triagonists.

PubMed ID: 34240881
Article link: Mol Pharm

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: glp1r

Disease Ontology terms: type 2 diabetes mellitus [+]