The findings could guide design of future therapies
Scientists thought they basically knew how the most common drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes worked, but a new study from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) reveals unexpected new aspects of the process. These findings could eventually lead to more potent anti-diabetic drugs with fewer serious side effects.
Douglas Kojetin, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Scripps Research Institute, Florida campus.
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Scripps Research Institute
The study was published in the April 7, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications.
The most common type 2 diabetes treatments are known as insulin-sensitizing drugs, which improve how the body responds to glucose or sugar. These drugs mimic naturally occurring compounds that bind to a specific intracellular receptor (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ or PPARG), altering its activity.
While these drugs were widely thought to bind to a single site on the receptor, the new study shows they also bind to an alternative site, leading to unique changes in receptor shape, which affects interaction with co-regulating protein partners and gene expression.
Douglas Kojetin, an associate professor at TSRI who led the study, called the discovery serendipitous—and revealing.
"It turns out that binding to PPARG is far more complex than anyone previously understood," he said. "You don't have to displace the naturally occurring ligand [binding partner] with a synthetically designed drug to regulate the receptor because you have this alternative site."
Kojetin and his colleagues made the alternative binding site discovery using a far simpler mapping technique than had previously been applied to determine the receptor's structure.
"We used a technique that yields easy-to-interpret results, one that you wouldn't normally use to look at how drugs bind a receptor," said Research Associate Travis Hughes, the first author of the study and a member of Kojetin's lab. "Instead of finding one site, we realized we had two and wanted to know what the second one was doing."
The scientists note that while they don't yet know the full effect of the alternate binding site's function, it might provide a clue to insulin-sensitizing drugs' adverse effects, which include risk of bone loss and congestive heart failure.
"The question going forward is 'Does this alternative site contribute to side effects, beneficial effects or both?'" said Kojetin. "Knowledge of this alternate binding site may help produce a new generation of anti-diabetic drugs."
In addition to Kojetin and Hughes, authors of the study, "An Alternate Binding Site for PPARγ Ligands," include Pankaj Kumar Giri, Ian Mitchelle S. de Vera, David P. Marciano, Dana S. Kuruvilla, Youseung Shin, Anne-Laure Blayo, Theodore M. Kamenecka and Patrick R. Griffin of TSRI; and Thomas P. Burris of St. Louis University.
The study was supported by the state of Florida, the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program, the Florida Department of Health (grant number 1KN-09) and the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers DK101871 and DK097890).
Eric Sauter | EurekAlert!
Great apes communicate cooperatively
25.05.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie
Rice study decodes genetic circuitry for bacterial spore formation
24.05.2016 | Rice University
Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.
The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...
In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.
In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...
Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices
Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.
When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene
In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...
The trend-forward world of display technology relies on innovative materials and novel approaches to steadily advance the visual experience, for example through higher pixel densities, better contrast, larger formats or user-friendler design. Fraunhofer ISC’s newly developed materials for optics and electronics now broaden the application potential of next generation displays. Learn about lower cost-effective wet-chemical printing procedures and the new materials at the Fraunhofer ISC booth # 1021 in North Hall D during the SID International Symposium on Information Display held from 22 to 27 May 2016 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
24.05.2016 | Event News
20.05.2016 | Event News
19.05.2016 | Event News
25.05.2016 | Trade Fair News
25.05.2016 | Life Sciences
25.05.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering