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Concept: Dipeptidyl peptidase-4


Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 is responsible for the degradation of several peptides that contain an alanine or proline at the penultimate position or position P1. DPP-4 inhibitors (DPP-4is) have protective effects against type-2 diabetes and several metabolic disorders.

Concepts: Amino acid, Metabolism, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Insulin resistance, Adipose tissue, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4


The use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors is increasing among renal transplant patients with diabetes. However, the glucose-lowering efficacies of various DPP-4 inhibitors and their effects on blood cyclosporine levels have not been fully investigated. We compared the glucose-lowering efficacies of DPP 4 inhibitors and evaluate their effects on the blood levels of cyclosporine in renal transplant recipients with diabetes.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Blood sugar, Organ transplant, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor


There is no question that incretin-based glucose-lowering medications have proven to be effective glucose-lowering agents. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists demonstrate an efficacy comparable to insulin treatment and appear to do so with significant effects to promote weight loss with minimal hypoglycemia. In addition, there is significant data with dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors showing efficacy comparable to sulfonylureas but with weight neutral effects and reduced risk for hypoglycemia. However, over the recent past there have been concerns reported regarding the long-term consequences of using such therapies, and the issues raised are in regard to the potential of both classes to promote acute pancreatitis, to initiate histological changes suggesting chronic pancreatitis including associated preneoplastic lesions, and potentially, in the long run, pancreatic cancer. Other issues relate to a potential risk for the increase in thyroid cancer. There is clearly conflicting data that has been presented in preclinical studies and in epidemiologic studies. To provide an understanding of both sides of the argument, we provide a discussion of this topic as part of this two-part point-counterpoint narrative. In the point narrative below, Dr. Butler and colleagues provide their opinion and review of the data to date and that we need to reconsider the use of incretin-based therapies because of the growing concern of potential risk and based on a clearer understanding of the mechanism of action. In the counterpoint narrative following the contribution by Dr. Butler and colleagues, Dr. Nauck provides a defense of incretin-based therapies and that the benefits clearly outweigh any concern of risk.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Glucagon, Agonist, Pancreatic cancer, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Pancreatitis, Glucagon-like peptide-1


Pharmacological treatment of type 2 diabetes has been enriched during recent years, with the launch of incretin therapies targeting glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Such medications comprise either GLP-1 receptor agonists, with short (one or two daily injections: exenatide, liraglutide, lixisenatide) or long duration (one injection once weekly: extended-released exenatide, albiglutide, dulaglutide, taspoglutide); or oral compounds inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), the enzyme that inactives GLP-1, also called gliptins (sitagliptin, vildagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin, alogliptin). Although both pharmacological approaches target GLP-1, important differences exist concerning the mode of administration (subcutaneous injection versus oral ingestion), the efficacy (better with GLP-1 agonists), the effects on body weight and systolic blood pressure (diminution with agonists versus neutrality with gliptins), the tolerance profile (nausea and possibly vomiting with agonists) and the cost (higher with GLP-1 receptor agonists). Both agents may exert favourable cardiovascular effects. Gliptins may represent a valuable alternative to a sulfonylurea or a glitazone after failure of monotherapy with metformin while GLP-1 receptor agonists may be considered as a good alternative to insulin (especially in obese patients) after failure of a dual oral therapy. However, this scheme is probably too restrictive and modalities of using incretins are numerous, in almost all stages of type 2 diabetes. Physicians may guide the pharmacological choice based on clinical characteristics, therapeutic goals and patient’s preference.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Sulfonylurea, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Glucagon-like peptide-1, Exenatide


In recent years, various dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-4) inhibitors have been released as therapeutic drugs for type 2 diabetes in many countries. In spite of their diverse chemical structures, no comparative studies of their binding modes in the active site of DPP-4 have been disclosed. We determined the co-crystal structure of vildagliptin with DPP-4 by X-ray crystallography and compared the binding modes of six launched inhibitors in DPP-4. The inhibitors were categorized into three classes on the basis of their binding subsites: (i) vildagliptin and saxagliptin (Class 1) form interactions with the core S1 and S2 subsites and a covalent bond with Ser630 in the catalytic triad; (ii) alogliptin and linagliptin (Class 2) form interactions with the S1' and/or S2' subsites in addition to the S1 and S2 subsites; and (iii) sitagliptin and teneligliptin (Class 3) form interactions with the S1, S2 and S2 extensive subsites. The present study revealed that the additional interactions with the S1', S2' or S2 extensive subsite may increase DPP-4 inhibition beyond the level afforded by the fundamental interactions with the S1 and S2 subsites and are more effective than forming a covalent bond with Ser630.

Concepts: Electron, Atom, Sociology, Hydrogen bond, Enzyme inhibitor, Covalent bond, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Development of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors


The newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that first appeared in Saudi Arabia during the summer of 2012 has to date (20th September 2013) caused 58 human deaths. MERS-CoV utilizes the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) host cell receptor, and analysis of the long-term interaction between virus and receptor provides key information on the evolutionary events that lead to the viral emergence.

Concepts: Evolution, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Arabic language


Objective To assess the impact of incretin based treatment on all cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes.Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials.Data sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and criteria Randomised controlled trials that compared glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors with placebo or active anti-diabetic drugs in patients with type 2 diabetes.Data collection and analysis Paired reviewers independently screened citations, assessed risk of bias of included studies, and extracted data. Peto’s method was used as the primary approach to pool effect estimates from trials, sensitivity analyses were carried out with other statistical approaches, and meta-regression was applied for six prespecified hypotheses to explore heterogeneity. The GRADE approach was used to rate the quality of evidence.Results 189 randomised controlled trials (n=155 145) were included, all of which were at low to moderate risk of bias; 77 reported no events of death and 112 reported 3888 deaths among 151 614 patients. Meta-analysis of 189 trials showed no difference in all cause mortality between incretin drugs versus control (1925/84 136 v 1963/67 478; odds ratio 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.90 to 1.02, I(2)=0%; risk difference 3 fewer events (95% confidence interval 7 fewer to 1 more) per 1000 patients over five years; moderate quality evidence). Results suggested the possibility of a mortality benefit with GLP-1 agonists but not DPP-4 inhibitors, but the subgroup hypothesis had low credibility. Sensitivity analyses showed no important differences in the estimates of effects.Conclusions Current evidence does not support the suggestion that incretin based treatment increases all cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. Further studies are warranted to examine if the effect differs between GLP-1 agonists versus DPP-4 inhibitors.

Concepts: Scientific method, Epidemiology, Diabetes mellitus, Medical statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Glucagon-like peptide-1, Exenatide


The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) highlights the zoonotic potential of Betacoronaviruses. Investigations into the origin of MERS-CoV have focused on two potential reservoirs: bats and camels. Here, we investigated the role of bats as a potential reservoir for MERS-CoV. In vitro, the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein interacted with Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) receptor and MERS-CoV replicated efficiently in Jamaican fruit bat cells, suggesting there is no restriction at the receptor or cellular level for MERS-CoV. To shed light on the intrinsic host-virus relationship, we inoculated 10 Jamaican fruit bats with MERS-CoV. Although all bats showed evidence of infection, none of the bats showed clinical signs of disease. Virus shedding was detected in the respiratory and intestinal tract for up to 9 days. MERS-CoV replicated transiently in the respiratory and, to a lesser extent, the intestinal tracts and internal organs; with limited histopathological changes observed only in the lungs. Analysis of the innate gene expression in the lungs showed a moderate, transient induction of expression. Our results indicate that MERS-CoV maintains the ability to replicate in bats without clinical signs of disease, supporting the general hypothesis of bats as ancestral reservoirs for MERS-CoV.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Bacteria, Evolution, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Replication, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Microbat


Background There is concern that antidiabetic incretin-based drugs, including dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogues, can increase the risk of heart failure. Ongoing clinical trials may not have large enough samples to effectively address this issue. Methods We applied a common protocol in the analysis of multiple cohorts of patients with diabetes. We used health care data from four Canadian provinces, the United States, and the United Kingdom. With the use of a nested case-control analysis, we matched each patient who was hospitalized for heart failure with up to 20 controls from the same cohort; matching was based on sex, age, cohort-entry date, duration of treated diabetes, and follow-up time. Cohort-specific hazard ratios for hospitalization due to heart failure among patients receiving incretin-based drugs, as compared with those receiving oral antidiabetic-drug combinations, were estimated by means of conditional logistic regression and pooled across cohorts with the use of random-effects models. Results The cohorts included a total of 1,499,650 patients, with 29,741 hospitalized for heart failure (incidence rate, 9.2 events per 1000 persons per year). The rate of hospitalization for heart failure did not increase with the use of incretin-based drugs as compared with oral antidiabetic-drug combinations among patients with a history of heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 1.19) or among those without a history of heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.67 to 1.00). The results were similar for DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogues. Conclusions In this analysis of data from large cohorts of patients with diabetes, incretin-based drugs were not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for heart failure, as compared with commonly used combinations of oral antidiabetic drugs. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; number, NCT02456428 .).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Diabetes mellitus, Anti-diabetic drug, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Thiazolidinedione, Glucagon-like peptide-1, Exenatide


We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to compare the long-term glycemic durability between dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors and sulfonylureas (SUs) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), in terms of the changes in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels from an intermediate time point (26 weeks or 52 weeks) to 104 weeks of treatment. The Medline (PubMed), Embase (Ovid), and CENTER (Cochrane Library) databases were searched for relevant RCTs. Eight RCTs were included. Compared with SUs, DPP4 inhibitors were associated with significantly smaller increases in the HbA1c level from 24 ~ 28 weeks (mean difference [MD]: -0.16%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.21 to -0.11, P < 0.001) and 52 weeks (MD: -0.06%, 95% CI: -0.10 to -0.02, P = 0.001) to 104 weeks. No significant heterogeneities were detected among the included comparisons (I(2) =0%). These results suggest that long-term treatment with DPP4 inhibitors confers better durability of glycemic response than treatment with SUs in T2DM patients, which may indicate that DPP4 inhibitors better preserve islet β-cell function compared with SUs.

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Diabetes, Sulfonylurea, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Glycated hemoglobin, Glucagon-like peptide-1