GQ-16, a novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) ligand, promotes insulin sensitization without weight gain.


Journal Article

The recent discovery that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) targeted anti-diabetic drugs function by inhibiting Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of the receptor has provided a new viewpoint to evaluate and perhaps develop improved insulin-sensitizing agents. Herein we report the development of a novel thiazolidinedione that retains similar anti-diabetic efficacy as rosiglitazone in mice yet does not elicit weight gain or edema, common side effects associated with full PPARγ activation. Further characterization of this compound shows GQ-16 to be an effective inhibitor of Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of PPARγ. The structure of GQ-16 bound to PPARγ demonstrates that the compound utilizes a binding mode distinct from other reported PPARγ ligands, although it does share some structural features with other partial agonists, such as MRL-24 and PA-082, that have similarly been reported to dissociate insulin sensitization from weight gain. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange studies reveal that GQ-16 strongly stabilizes the β-sheet region of the receptor, presumably explaining the compound's efficacy in inhibiting Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of Ser-273. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the partial agonist activity of GQ-16 results from the compound's weak ability to stabilize helix 12 in its active conformation. Our results suggest that the emerging model, whereby "ideal" PPARγ-based therapeutics stabilize the β-sheet/Ser-273 region and inhibit Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation while minimally invoking adipogenesis and classical agonism, is indeed a valid framework to develop improved PPARγ modulators that retain antidiabetic actions while minimizing untoward effects.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Amato, AA; Rajagopalan, S; Lin, JZ; Carvalho, BM; Figueira, ACM; Lu, J; Ayers, SD; Mottin, M; Silveira, RL; Souza, PCT; Mourão, RHV; Saad, MJA; Togashi, M; Simeoni, LA; Abdalla, DSP; Skaf, MS; Polikparpov, I; Lima, MCA; Galdino, SL; Brennan, RG; Baxter, JD; Pitta, IR; Webb, P; Phillips, KJ; Neves, FAR

Published Date

  • August 10, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 287 / 33

Start / End Page

  • 28169 - 28179

PubMed ID

  • 22584573

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22584573

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1083-351X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1074/jbc.M111.332106


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States