Researchers Try a Novel Method for Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Published By : 08 Dec 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in US are using a new method for drug discovery to identify the anti-diabetes compound with a unique mechanism of action. The effort is expected to lead to a new line of treatment for diabetes. The new approach is expected to help the researchers to find the drug candidates faster that activate cellular receptors in an expected manner. 

For the purpose of the study the researchers are using the method of targeting a receptor that is associated with type 2 diabetes. Known as the GLP-1 receptor, it is a result of the insulin-producing 'beta cells' that exist in the pancreas. In the past several drugs that activate this receptor have been approved and accepted for treating type 2 diabetes.

In the study, the aim was to identify the molecule that triggers the GLP-1 receptor in a novel fashion. 
This receptor is part of the large class of receptors, which are commonly known as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

The researchers have created a library of candidate molecules on the basis of GLP-1 receptor agonist, a small protein or peptide, which is extracted out of the venom of Gila monster lizards, a synthetic version of this protein, and Exendin-4 are used for making medications for type 2 diabetics. The researchers have created about one million new peptides by mixing and matching one end of Exendin-4 and beta arrestin pathways.

Hongkai Zhang, a senior staff scientist and co-first author of the study stated that the reasoning behind this was that several variants would change the shape of the GLP-1 receptor, which would in turn trigger the G-protein pathway without affecting the beta arrestin pathway.

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