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A new chemically engineered peptide reduces body weight and diabetic complications in rodent models of diet-induced obesity by acting at 3 metabolically related peptide hormone receptors: glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon receptors (Finan B et al. Nat Med. doi:10.1038/nm.3761 [published online December 8, 2014]).
An international team of researchers designed the novel peptide based on known sequence, structural, and structure-function information on the 3 hormones. The peptide’s effects were shown to result from synergistic glucagon action to increase energy expenditure, GLP-1 action to reduce caloric intake and improve glucose control, and GIP action to enhance the incretin effect (potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by gut-derived hormones). This led to a decrease in rodents’ body weight by more than one-quarter over 3 weeks, which was accompanied by significant reductions in blood glucose and food intake.
Hampton T. Novel Peptide Reverses Obesity and Diabetes in Rodents. JAMA. 2015;313(5):455. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.49