Potential target for treating obesity and diabetes with single drug identified
Washington – A new mouse study has suggested that a single overactive enzyme worsens the two core defects of diabetes- impaired insulin sensitivity and overproduction of glucose, therefore a drug targeting the enzyme could help correct both at once.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center said that a drug that inhibits the enzyme, MK2, eventually could be added to metformin-the current first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes- to achieve better control over insulin and glucose levels than is possible with either drug alone.
“MK2’s compatibility with metformin makes it a very exciting potential drug target,” lead author Ira Tabas said.
“The one clear leader among drugs currently available for type 2 diabetes is metformin, which does a pretty good job of attacking both problems. But because metformin is often not enough, we need drugs that can be added to metformin—or used in patients who cannot tolerate metformin,” Dr. Tabas said.
The researcher said that if you take an obese, diabetic mouse and give it metformin, you get a partial improvement. If you give it an MK2-inhibitor, you also get a partial improvement. However, if you give both, the benefit is additive, which is consistent with their data that metformin and MK2 work through different biochemical pathways.
The study was published in Cell Metabolism.