Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fun fact: After 50 years; mode of action of highly prescribed diabetes drug may now be understood

The most frequently prescribed drug for treatment of type 2 diabetes, metformin, belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides. Despite their effectiveness, the mechanism of action for these drugs has been poorly understood. That changed with the publication in Nature of: Biguanides suppress hepatic glucagon signalling by decreasing production of cyclic AMP. The paper was produced by the lab of Morris J. Birnbaum at the University of Penn with contributions from authors in France.

It had been suggested that metformin results in reduced glucose synthesis by activating AMPK but recent evidence showed that mice lacking AMPK still responded to metformin treatment.This led to the current findings that metformin acts by increasing the levels of cellular AMP which has the effect of inhibiting andenylate cyclase and therefore decreasing cAMP production. The discovery of this novel mechanism may lead to new treatments targeting adenylate cyclase.

Adenylate cyclase by en:user:Bensaccount
  • 23:54, 26 April 2006 Bensaccount 452x258 (60841 bytes) (Adenylate cyclase by [[:en:user:Bensaccount]])