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Concept: Orlistat


Abstract The present research work explores an innovative technological solution to constraints in efficient oral delivery of poorly water-soluble anti-obesity drug orlistat. Nanoemulsion of orlistat and its subsequent transformation into multi-unit pellet system (MUPS) for improved oral delivery was developed. Orlistat nanoemulsion was developed with capryol PGMC as an oil phase and cremophor RH40 as an emulsifier using high-pressure homogenization. Influence of critical processing parameters on globule size distribution, polydispersity index and physical stability of nanoemulsion was evaluated. The optimized nanoemulsion was transformed into MUPS using an extrusion spheronization technique. Optimized formulation was characterized at nanoemulsion as well as MUPS stage. DLS and nanoparticle tracking analysis studies of orlistat nanoemulsion exhibited unimodal size distribution with polydispersity value <0.1. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) studies confirmed the presence of uniform spherical nanosized oil droplets of nanoemulsified orlistat. DSC and PXRD studies of MUPS confirmed amorphization of embedded nanoemulsified orlistat. In-vitro dissolution studies in surfactant-reduced media demonstrated remarkable improvement in dissolution compared to pure orlistat and marketed formulation (Xenical Capsules 120 mg, Hoffman-La Roche, Basle, Switzerland). Comparative in-vitro bovine porcine pancreatic lipase inhibition studies of pure orlistat, marketed product and developed MUPS showed 13.57- and 2.41-fold higher lipase inhibition with developed MUPS compared to pure orlistat and marketed products, respectively.

Concepts: Obesity, Liquid, Phase, Emulsion, Hoffmann–La Roche, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat, Basel


Pancreatic lipase inhibitors, such as tetrahydrolipstatin (orlistat), are used in anti-obesity treatments. Orlistat is the only anti-obesity drug approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The drug is synthesized by saturation of lipstatin, a β-lactone compound, isolated from Streptomyces toxytricini and S. virginiae. To identify producers of novel pancreatic lipase inhibitors or microbial strains with improved lipstatin production and higher chemical purity remains still a priority. In this study, a high-throughput screening method to identify Streptomyces strains producing potent pancreatic lipase inhibitors was established. The assay was optimized and validated using S. toxytricini NRRL 15443 and its mutants. Strains grew in 24-well titer plates. Lipstatin levels were assessed directly in culture medium at the end of cultivation by monitoring lipolytic activity in the presence of a chromogenic substrate, 1,2-Di-O-lauryl-rac-glycero-3-glutaric acid 6-methylresorufin ester (DGGR). The lipase activity decreased in response to lipstatin production, and this was demonstrated by accumulation of red-purple methylresorufin, a product of DGGR digestion. The sensitivity of the assay was achieved by adding a lipase of high lipolytic activity and sensitivity to lipstatin to the reaction mixture. In the assay, the fungal lipase from Mucor javanicus was used as an alternative to the human pancreatic lipase. Many fungal lipases preserve high lipolytic activity in extreme conditions and are not colipase dependent. The assay proved to be reliable in differentiation of strains with high and low lipstatin productivity.

Concepts: Bacteria, Enzyme, Pancreas, Lipase, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat, Streptomyces toxytricini, Lipstatin


As per the recent statistical reports of World Health Organisation (WHO), 13% of total global population is obese. Orlistat remains to be the only drug approved for the long term treatment of obesity. Recent findings highlighted severe adverse effects of orlistat that included hepatotoxicity, gall stones, kidney stones and acute pancreatitis. Therefore, search for new drug is required. The investigations based on endophytic natural products would prove pivotal in the global fight against this health issue.

Concepts: Fungus, Obesity, Adverse drug reaction, Pancreatic cancer, World population, Endophyte, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat


Obesity is an emerging risk factor for fecal incontinence (FI). The aim of this study was to characterize pathophysiologic mechanisms of FI in obese patients compared with non-obese patients in a prospective case-matched study.

Concepts: Gut flora, Obesity, Pathophysiology, Orlistat


Pancreatic lipase (PL) is a primary lipase critical for triacylglyceride digestion in humans and is considered as a promising target for the treatment of obesity. Although the current synthetic drugs available for treating obesity have been demonstrated to be effective in inhibiting PL, their prolonged usage results in severe side effects. Based on this argument, in this study, we evaluated the structural and energetic features linked to molecular recognition between two well-known PL inhibitors, orlistat (ORL, synthetic inhibitor) and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, natural inhibitor) and PL through molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations of ORL and EGCG at the PL binding site when it is isolated (PL) from the heterodimer complex, forming the heterodimer complex with colipase (PLCL) and lacking structural calcium. Our study showed that the binding free energy of ORL and EGCG to the target correlates with their experimental affinity tendency. The presence of the heterodimer PLCL state, the presence of structural calcium and the type of inhibitor resulted in differences in structural stability and in the map of protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions. Overall, our results suggest that the heterodimer complex and structural calcium are linked to the binding properties of PL.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Pancreas, Inhibitor, Xanthine oxidase inhibitor, Lipase, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat


A new brominated polyacetylene, xestonariene I (1), along with three known related analogues (2-4), was obtained from Chinese marine sponge Xestospongia testudinaria. Its structure was determined on the basis of detailed spectroscopic analysis and by comparison with literature data. Compound 4 exhibited significant inhibitory activity against pancreatic lipase, which plays a key role in preventing obesity, with an IC50 value of 0.61 μM, being comparable to that of the positive control orlistat (IC50 = 0.78 μM).

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Linguistics, Physical chemistry, Chemical structure, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat


Lipstatin, isolated from Streptomyces toxytricini as a potent and selective inhibitor of human pancreatic lipase, is a precursor for tetrahydrolipstatin (also known as orlistat, Xenical, and Alli), the only FDA-approved anti-obesity medication for long term use. Lipstatin features a 2-hexyl-3,5-dihydroxy-7,10-hexadecadienoic-β-lactone structure with an N-formyl-L-leucine group attached as an ester to the 5-hydroxy group. It has been suggested that the α-branched 3,5-dihydroxy-fatty acid β-lactone moiety of lipstatin in S. toxytricini is derived from Claisen condensation between two fatty acid substrates which are derived from incomplete oxidative degradation of linoleic acid based on feeding experiments. In this study, we identified a six-gene operon (lst) that was essential for the biosynthesis of lipstatin by large deletion, complementation, and single gene knockout experiments. lstA, lstB, and lstC which encode two β-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein synthases III homologues and an acyl-CoA synthetase homologue were indicated to be responsible for generation of the α-branched 3,5-dihydroxy fatty acid backbone. Subsequently, the non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene lstE and the putative formyltransferase gene lstF were involved in decoration of the α-branched 3,5-dihydroxy fatty acid chain with an N-formylated leucine residue. At last, the 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase homologous gene lstD might be responsible for reduction of the β-keto group of the biosynthetic intermediate, thereby facilitates formation of the unique β-lactone ring.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Fatty acid, Enzyme, Obesity, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat, Streptomyces toxytricini


The ethanol extract of Atractylodes lancea rhizome displayed significant lipase inhibition with an IC50 value of 9.06 µg/mL in a human pancreatic lipase assay from high-throughput screening. Bioassay-guided isolation led to the identification of one new polyacetylene, syn-(5E,11E)-3-acetoxy-4-O-(3-methylbutanoyl)-1,5,11-tridecatriene-7,9-diyne-3,4-diol (7), along with six known compounds (1-6). The structure of compound 7 was determined based on the analysis of NMR and MS data. Among these seven lipase inhibitors, the major compound atractylodin (1) showed the highest lipase inhibitory activity (IC50 = 39.12 µM). The antiobesity effect of the ethanol extract of Atractylodes lancea rhizome was evaluated in a high-fat diet-induced obesity mice model at daily dosages of 250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks, and treatment with this extract demonstrated a moderate efficacy at the 500 mg/kg dose level.

Concepts: Obesity, Pancreas, Inhibitor, Lipase, Major, Enzymes, Pancreatic lipase, Orlistat


Obesity is associated with impaired microvascular endothelial function. We aimed to determine the effects of orlistat and sibutramine treatment on microvascular endothelial function, anthropometric and lipid profile, blood pressure (BP), and heart rate (HR).

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Obesity, Artery, Pulse, Endothelium, Sibutramine, Orlistat


Giardiasis, a gastrointestinal disease caused by Giardia duodenalis, is currently treated mainly with nitroimidazoles, primarily metronidazole (MTZ). Treatment failure rates of up to 20 percent reflect the compelling need for alternative treatment options. Here, we investigated whether orlistat, a drug approved to treat obesity, represents a potential therapeutic agent against giardiasis. We compared the growth inhibitory effects of orlistat and MTZ on a long-term in vitro culture adapted G. duodenalis strain, WB-C6, and on a new isolate, 14-03/F7, from a patient refractory to MTZ treatment using a resazurin assay. The giardiacidal concentration of the drugs and their combined in vitro efficacy was determined by median-effect analysis. Morphological changes after treatment were analysed by light and electron microscopy. Orlistat inhibited the in vitro growth of G. duodenalis at low micromolar concentrations, with isolate 14-03/F7 (IC5024h = 2.8 µM) being more sensitive than WB-C6 (IC5024h = 6.2 µM). The effect was significantly more potent compared to MTZ (IC5024h = 4.3 µM and 11.0 µM, respectively) and led to specific undulated morphological alterations on the parasite surface. The giardiacidal concentration of orlistat was >14 µM for 14-03/F7 and >43 µM for WB-C6, respectively. Importantly, the combination of both drugs revealed no interaction on their inhibitory effects. We demonstrate that orlistat is a potent inhibitor of G. duodenalis growth in vitro and kills parasites at concentrations achievable in the gut by approved treatment regimens for obesity. We therefore propose to investigate orlistat in controlled clinical studies as a new drug in giardiasis.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Obesity, Effectiveness, Concentration, Giardia lamblia, Molar concentration, Orlistat