Researchers Find New Potential Anti-Diabetic Drug Target

Diabetes Illustration

A study by Peking University has identified a new drug target in the fight against diabetes: an enzyme called microbial dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) in the gut microbiota, which compromises glucose regulation. The research suggests that inhibiting DPP4 could enhance the efficacy of existing diabetes medications and lead to the development of new therapies.

Researchers at China’s Peking University have identified a new potential drug target that could enhance diabetes treatment effectiveness.

The target in question is Bacteroides spp. microbial dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), an enzyme from the gut microbiota that plays a critical role in the management of type 2 diabetes.

Impact of DPP4 on Diabetes Management

DPP4 can degrade the host’s glucagon and contribute to compromising glucose homeostasis, as indicated in the joint study by Peking University Health Science Center, Peking University Third Hospital, and the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Peking University.

The researchers also found that the enrichment of the peptidase in the host’s body will significantly reduce the clinical efficacy of Sitagliptin, a commonly used diabetes treatment medication, as Sitagliptin cannot inhibit the activity of DPP4 effectively.

Potential for New Diabetes Treatments

Efforts are underway to seek methods to inhibit the enzyme activity of DPP4, which holds the potential to enhance the efficacy of existing medications and even discover new treatment approaches.

The discovery is expected to have significant implications for further understanding the pathogenesis of diabetes and for enhancing the efficacy of related drug treatments, according to the study.

Reference: “Microbial-host-isozyme analyses reveal microbial DPP4 as a potential antidiabetic target” by Kai Wang, Zhiwei Zhang, Jing Hang, Jia Liu, Fusheng Guo, Yong Ding, Meng Li, Qixing Nie, Jun Lin, Yingying Zhuo, Lulu Sun, Xi Luo, Qihang Zhong, Chuan Ye, Chuyu Yun, Yi Zhang, Jue Wang, Rui Bao, Yanli Pang, Guang Wang, Frank J. Gonzalez, Xiaoguang Lei, Jie Qiao and Changtao Jiang, 4 August 2023, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.add5787

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