Medicinal Chemistry and Applications of Incretins and DPP-4 Inhibitors in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The Open Medicinal Chemistry Journal 9 Sept 2011 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874104501105010082


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major metabolic disorder currently affecting over 200 million people worldwide. Approximately 90% of all diabetic patients suffer from Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The world's economy coughs out billions of dollars annually to diagnose, treat and manage patients with diabetes. It has been shown that the naturally occurring gut hormones incretins, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) can preserve the morphology and function of pancreatic beta cell. In addition, GIP and GLP-1 act on insulin receptors to facilitate insulin-receptor binding, resulting in optimal glucose metabolism. This review examines the medicinal chemistry and roles of incretins, specifically, GLP-1 and drugs which can mimic its actions and prevent its enzymatic degradation. The review discussed GLP-1 agonists such as exenatide, liraglutide, taspoglutide and albiglutide. The paper also identified and reviewed a number of inhibitors, which can block dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4), the enzyme responsible for the rapid degradation of GLP-1. These DPP-4 inhibitors include sitagliptin, saxagliptin, vildagliptin and many others which are still in the experimental phase.

Keywords: Incretins, DPP-4 inhibitors, type 2 diabetes, medicinal chemistry.
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