Mouse study identifies novel compound that may help develop new diabetes drugs

Rama Mallampalli, MDResearch led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine identified a new compound that might serve as a basis for developing a new class of drugs for diabetes. Study findings are published online in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

The adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a crucial enzyme involved in sensing the body’s energy stores in cells. Impaired energy metabolism is seen in obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Some medications used to treat diabetes, such as metformin, work by increasing the activity of AMPK.

“In our study, we discovered a protein that is involved in removing AMPK from cells called Fbxo48. We designed and tested a compound term, BC1618, that blocks Fbxo48 and was much more potent than metformin in increasing AMPK function. BC1618 improved responses to insulin, a measure of effectiveness for diabetes medicines, in obese mice,” said Rama Mallampalli, MD, senior author and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

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