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Identification and optimization of a series of natural product structure compounds as an allosteric AMPK activators
Update time: 2014-07-20
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The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status. Once activated, it switches on catabolic pathways that generate ATP, while switching off biosynthetic pathways. These effects suggest that AMPK activators might be useful for treatment and/or prevention of type 2 diabetes.However, there are not many AMPK small-molecule direct activators discovered so far, partly because the classical screening methods like Filter assay are restricted to their high-cost and low-throughput characters.

HTRF(Homogeneous Time-Resolved Fluorescence) method has been used to establish kinase activity assay, which has features like low-cost, high-throughput, easy-operating and good repeatability. Using HTRF assay, Researchers identified and structure optimized a series of AMPK activators: 20(S)-protopanoxadiol(PPD) was originally identified from high throughput screening as a small molecule activator of AMPK through the allosteric activation of heterotrimerα2β1γ1.

Ginseng has been used as drug for over 2,000 years, the main Ingredients of it is ginsenosides, which has many pharmacological activity, including lowering blood pressure, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidation, anti-depressants and anti-cancer.protopanoxadiol (PPD) was the main plasma metabolites of ginsenosides based on literatures, and it may have potential lipid-lowering and anti-diabetic effects.

The discovery of PPD’s AMPk activating effect provide new mechanism of its pharmacological activity as a natural product structure.In order to enhance its potency at AMPK and structure-activity relationship study, PPD analogues were designed, synthesized, and evaluated in pharmacological AMPK activation assays.

Moreover,the Compounds could activate AMPK without affect mitochondrial membrane potential in HepG2 cells, suggests these compoundsdo not activated AMPK indirectly through inhibit mitochondrial respiration.andthe compounds could also inhibitlipid synthesis in HepG2 cells by activating AMPK.

This research work was performed by Dr Liu Junhua, Dr Chen Dakai and colleagues, and supervised by Professor Hu Lihong, Professor LI Jia and Professor LI Jingya. The paper has been published inEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2014 (79):340-349).

Full text linker: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0223523414003298

Fig. 1.The major metabolites of 20(S)-protopanaxadiol in humans.(Image by SIMM)

(Source:Prof.LI Jia's Group)

 
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