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PEPTIDE TRENDS AUGUST 2015

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) in the treatment of Diabetes

Article by Archana Gangakhedkar and Jyothi Thundimadathil, both American Peptide Company (A member of the Bachem Group)

 

Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease related morbidity and mortality. There are several therapies for the management of type 2 diabetes, but still optimal glycemic control is not achieved in spite of advances in options for the treatment of diabetes. A large number of patients fail to attain the glycemic target and only few drugs have shown to effectively control the Hb1Ac numbers below <7%. The biggest hurdles for the implementation and long term application of intensive therapies are the low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) and weight gain. Currently available drugs act to increase insulin availability through administration, secretion or by increasing sensitivity. Others act by delaying the delivery and absorption of carbohydrate from the gastrointestinal tract, or by increasing urinary glucose excretion. There still seems to be an unmet need in this therapeutic area, in spite of these drugs on the market. Recently there have been advances in type 2 diabetes management in the clinical development of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and in glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists. (1) 

 

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) belongs to the hormonal family of incretins that enhance the secretion of insulin. Incretins are a group of gastrointestinal hormones that stimulate lower blood glucose levels by increasing the amount of insulin released from pancreatic beta cells. The two primary incretin hormones are glucagon like peptide GLP-1 and GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide or glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide). Both GLP-1 and GIP are rapidly cleaved by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4). GLP-1 is a product of a precursor molecule called pre-proglucagon, a polypeptide which is split to produce many hormones including glucagon. As they have same origin, these hormones share some similarities, and hence the name ‘glucagon-like’.

The major sources of GLP- 1 are the L-cells in the lining of small intestine. The pancreas and the central nervous system (CNS) also secrete this hormone in smaller quantities. GLP- 1 stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas; it also increases the volume of cells in the pancreas which produces insulin (beta cells) and regulates and controls the release of glucagon. GLP-1 acts on appetite centers in brain, slowing the emptying process in stomach and increasing the feeling of fullness during and between the meals. (2)

 

Differential processing of proglucagon in the intestinal epithelial endocrine L-cells produces the 30-amino acid peptide hormone GLP-1. The metabolism of GLP-1 in the body is extremely rapid and the peptide gets inactivated by the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), even before leaving the gut. (3). Glucagon is a key hormone in glucose metabolism and homeostasis. It regulates blood glucose by decreasing glycolysis and increases the rate of gluconeogenesis. It counter-regulates the hormone of insulin by raising plasma glucose levels in response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Glucagon is known to play an important role in initiating and maintaining hyperglycemic conditions in diabetes and to suppress the plasma glucagon level. (4)

It is assumed that GLP-1 may be involved in the stimulation of glucose disposal in peripheral tissues independent of insulin actions.  

 

Clinical Diabetes,   April 2005 vol. 23 no. 2 56-62

 

 

Figure 1.Multiple sites of action for GLP-1. Image courtesy: American Diabetes Association and Dr. John. Buse MD, PhD.

GLP-1 and GLP-2 stimulate intestinal growth and upregulate villus height in the gastrointestinal tract. The primary site of action of GLP-2 starts in the stomach and ends in the colon. It has an essential function in nutrient homeostasis (5) by an increased stimulus in the gastrointestinal track which leads to an increment in nutrient assimilation. The Pharmaceutical industry has developed drugs that mimic the GLP-1 targeting control of glucose levels in type-2 diabetes. Weight loss contributes in increasing the GLP-1 levels leading to improved glucose control in Type-2 Diabetes. Lower levels of GLP-1 in the body lead to obesity, feeling of hunger and empty stomach making the individual eat more.

 

Incretin based GLP-1 therapies have additional effects, e.g. the reduction of glucagon, the slow down of gastric emptying, and inducing the sense of satiety. In clinical practice these therapies are associated with significant reductions in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) weight loss and a low risk of hypoglycemia. Few of the incretin GLP-1 receptor agonist based therapies are mentioned below:

Exenatide (exendin-4) is a reptilian hormone isolated from the saliva of the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) which acts as a GLP-1 mimic. The 39 amino acid-containing peptide has been approved as a monotherapy for the treatment of type-2 diabetes.

Exenatide is marketed under the trade name of Byetta® by AstraZeneca. It enhances insulin production and has 53% sequence identity to GLP-1. Because of its shorter half-life of 2.4 hours exenatide has twice-a-day dosing regimen taken with metformin ± sulfonylurea. Exenatide was well tolerated in patients and rates of hypoglycemia were relative low in these studies. 

 

Oral glucose stimulates the release of the endogenous incretins glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulin-releasing polypeptide (GIP). These stimulate insulin release and inhibit glucagon release resulting in lower blood glucose. They are rapidly inactivated by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4). The DPP-4 inhibitors prolong the action of endogenous incretins, enhancing the first-phase insulin response. (Image courtesy: Dr.Fisher Miles).

 

Liraglutide is a GLP-1 analog which has 97% sequence -similarity towards GLP-1. It is marketed under the trade name Victoza® by Novo Nordisk. The fatty acid side chain enables the heptamer formation thus increasing the stability and the binding to albumin. The drug was generally well tolerated and rates of hypoglycemia seemed to be low in these trials; however frequency of hypoglycemia increased with the combined use of other anti-diabetic drugs (metformin and sulfonylurea drugs). It was reported that in direct comparison between exenatide twice daily and liraglutide once a day, liraglutide was significantly more effective in controlling the glycemic index when compared to exenatide. The weight and fasting plasma glucose was significantly reduced by liraglutide treatment.

Exenatide LAR from Amylin/ AstraZeneca: A once-weekly injection of exenatide has been approved as of January 27, 2012 under the trademark Bydureon®. Exenatide once a week dose was more effective when compared to twice a day dose of exenatide.

 

 

Drug Name

Developer/Manufacturer

Dosage

Plasma Half life

Approval year/Countries

Exenatide

AstraZeneca

5-10 mcg SC route

2.4 hrs

2005 USA

Liraglutide

Novo Nordisk

1.2-1.8 mg once SC

11-15 hrs

2009 USA

Taspoglutide

Ipsen/Roche

--

165 hrs

 

Lixisenatide

Sanofi-Aventis

20 mcg daily

2.7-4.3 hrs

EU, Mexico, Australia, Japan

Semaglutide

Novo Nordisk

TBD

160hrs

 

Table showing the list of GLP-1 Receptor Agonist: Adapted with permission from J. Med. Chem., Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/jm500810s.Publication Date (Web): October 28, 2014 Courtesy: copyright 2014; American chemical society.

 

In hypoglycemia, GLP-1 reduces the brain glucose concentration. Further effects are an increase of the net blood brain clearance and the brain metabolism, but it is not known whether they depend on the prevailing plasma glucose (PG) (6). GLP-1 peptide is a post- translational product of preglucagon which is a precursor of many glucagon related peptides. They are two equipotent forms of GLP-1, GLP-1 (7-36)-NH2 and GLP-1 (7-37), the first one being more abundant, which bind to and activate the GLP-1 receptor. The GLP-1 receptor or GLP-1R belongs to the class B family of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and carries out its regulatory functions. GLP-1R is found in many organs like pancreas, kidney, GI tract and brain, but is highly expressed in pancreas. 

 

In summary it is projected that GLP-1 agonist peptides against type-2 diabetes are promising targets for patients with poor Hb1Ac control.

 

References:

1. Anon., Lancet 1998, 352, 837.

2. Stephen Bloom et.al; Imperial College London Society of Endocrinology; BES 2013.

3. J. J. Holst, Physiol Rev 2007, 87, 1409.

4. S. Runge, B. S. Wulff, K. Madsen, H. Brauner-Osborne, L. B. Knudsen, Br J Pharmacol 2003, 138, 787.

5. C. X. Dong, P. L. Brubaker, Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012, 9, 705. 

6. M. Gejl, S. Lerche, L. Egefjord, B. Brock, N. Moller, K. Vang, A. B. Rodell, B. M. Bibby, J. J. Holst, J. Rungby, A. Gjedde, Front Neuroenergetics 2013, 5, 2.

Meet Bachem: Archana Gangakhedkar, Marketing Manager

Archana Gangakhedkar

PT: What is your official job title at Bachem? 

Archana: Marketing Manager

 

PT: How long have you been with Bachem? Where did you work before Bachem? 

Archana: I was with American Peptide Company (APC) from 2013. Bachem acquired APC earlier this year. Prior to that I was working as Research Scientist at drug delivery company designing prodrugs to make them more bioavailable and less toxic. Working as bench scientist I gained knowledge about different disease areas, drugs that treat them and their mechanism of action on diseases. I am the inventor of new chemical entities and hold of many patents to my credit.

 

PT: Briefly, what do you do at Bachem? 

Archana: At Bachem I take care of marketing activities like scientific writings, market research, newsletter content, Ad words/SEO and integration for Bachem and American Peptide Company. 

 

PT: What is your academic background/degrees or training? 

Archana: I have masters in medicinal organic chemistry and I am certificate holder in Regulatory Affairs from UCSC extension.

 

PT: What do you like to do outside of work (interests, hobbies)?

Archana: I am trained classical dancer and love to dance with good music. I also like travelling around the world with my family.

 

PT: What makes a perfect day for you? 

Archana: Day should start with right dose of caffeine, when I finish my tasks in a way that makes me stand apart from the rest.

 

PT: What do you like most about your job? 

Archana: The best part in this job is scientific writing and market search that keeps me in touch with scientific discoveries and development. I feel proud to be part of Bachem team and its contribution towards bringing better medicines into the market.

 

PT: What do you do for fun? 

Archana: Hiking with my family including my dog, good music and cooking.

 

PT: Do you like to communicate any key message to the reader? 

Archana: Do your Best in this innovative field.

 

PT: What is your preferred peptide? 

Archana: I feel RGD and CPPs might play big role in bringing new technologies into healthcare industry.

PT: Thank you Archana!

literature citings

Bachem peptides and biochemicals are widely cited in research publications. Congratulations to all our customers with recent publications! 

 

Koska, J., Sands, M., Burciu, C., D'Souza, K. M., Raravikar, K., Liu, J., Truran, S., Franco, D. A., Schwartz, E. A., Schwenke, D. C., D'Alessio, D., Migrino, R. Q. and Reaven, P. D.

Exenatide Protects Against Glucose- and Lipid-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction: Evidence for Direct Vasodilation Effect of GLP-1 Receptor Agonists in Humans.

Diabetes 64, 2624-2635 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25720388

 

Plummer, M. P., Jones, K. L., Cousins, C. E., Trahair, L. G., Meier, J. J., Chapman, M. J., Horowitz, M. and Deane, A. M.

Hyperglycemia potentiates the slowing of gastric emptying induced by exogenous GLP-1.

Diabetes Care 38, 1123-1129 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25784665

 

Duan, F. F., Liu, J. H. and March, J. C.

Engineered commensal bacteria reprogram intestinal cells into glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells for the treatment of diabetes.

Diabetes 64, 1794-1803 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25626737

 

Jensen, E. P., Poulsen, S. S., Kissow, H., Holstein-Rathlou, N. H., Deacon, C. F., Jensen, B. L., Holst, J. J. and Sorensen, C. M.

Activation of GLP-1 receptors on vascular smooth muscle cells reduces the autoregulatory response in afferent arterioles and increases renal blood flow.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 308, F867-877 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25656368

 

Asmar, A., Simonsen, L., Asmar, M., Madsbad, S., Holst, J. J., Frandsen, E., Moro, C., Jonassen, T. and Bulow, J.

Renal extraction and acute effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 on central and renal hemodynamics in healthy men.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 308, E641-649 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25670826

 

Mitchell, R. K., Mondragon, A., Chen, L., McGinty, J. A., French, P. M., Ferrer, J., Thorens, B., Hodson, D. J., Rutter, G. A. and Da Silva Xavier, G.

Selective disruption of Tcf7l2 in the pancreatic beta cell impairs secretory function and lowers beta cell mass.

Hum. Mol. Genet. 24, 1390-1399 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25355422

 

Wewer Albrechtsen, N. J., Bak, M. J., Hartmann, B., Christensen, L. W., Kuhre, R. E., Deacon, C. F. and Holst, J. J.

Stability of glucagon-like peptide 1 and glucagon in human plasma.

Endocr Connect 4, 50-57 (2015)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=25596009

Peptide Puzzler

Bachem soccer ball

Are you ready for this month’s Peptide challenge?

 

1. Unscramble the Amino acid names in the following words.  

2. Then use the boxed letters from the solved amino acid words to get the scrambled peptide name.   

3. Unscramble the word to get the final peptide, hormone, drug or peptide receptor name. 

 

 

GLP-1 Puzzle:

 

1.            INGYLCE                       [_][_]_ _ _ _ _

2.            TNIESEYC                     [_]_ _ _ _ _ [_]_

3.            DCIMACAITUGL            [_]_[_]_ _ _ _ _ [_]_ _ _

4.            NOTPHPYRTA                _ _ _ _ _ [_]_ _ _ _ 

 

hint:  peptide hormone: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

 

Rules:

Submit the correct answer to webmaster@bachem.com  by 12:01 am Los Angeles time on Friday, August 21, 2015 for your chance to win a Bachem football. 

Peptide Highlights