Stapled Peptides

Diabetes is characterized by pancreas dysfunction and is commonly associated with obesity. Hypoglycemic agents capable of improving β-cell function and reducing body weight therefore are gaining increasing interest.

Though glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R)/cholecystokinin 2 receptor (CCK-2R) dual agonist ZP3022 potently increases β-cell mass and improves glycemic control in diabetic db/db mice, the in vivo half-life (t1/2) is short, and its body weight reducing activity is limited.

Herein is reported the discovery of a series of novel GLP-1R/CCK-2R dual agonists. Starting from Xenopus GLP-1, dual cysteine mutation was conducted followed by covalent side chain stapling and albumin binder incorporation, resulting in a stabilized secondary structure, increased agonist potency, and improved stability.

Further C-terminal conjugation of gastrin-6 generated GLP-1R/CCK-2R dual agonists, among which 6a and 6b showed higher stability and hypoglycemic activity than liraglutide and ZP3022. Desirably, 6a and 6b exhibited prominent metabolic benefits in diet-induced obesity mice without causing nausea responses and exerted considerable effects on β-cell restoration in db/db mice.

These preclinical studies suggest the potential role of GLP-1R/CCK-2R dual agonists as effective agents for treating diabetes and related metabolic disorders.

Stapled and Xenopus Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 (GLP-1)-Based Dual GLP-1/Gastrin Receptor Agonists with Improved Metabolic Benefits in Rodent Models of Obesity and Diabetes
Xinyu Chen, Junjie Fu, Feng Zhou, Qimeng Yang, Jialing Wang, Hui Feng, Wen Jiang, Luofan Jin, Xuelin Tang, Neng Jiang, Jian Yin, and Jing Han
J. Med. Chem. 2020, 63, 12595−12613

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