Oxyntomodulin (OXM) was identified as a glucagon (GCG) receptor (GCGR) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor (GLP-1R) dual agonist to suppress appetite, increase energy expenditure, and induce body weight loss in obese humans. However, the activities of native OXM to activate GCGR and GLP-1R in vitro were much weaker than the natural ligands. To address this gap, structural modifications were adopted and novel OXM analogues were obtained through chimeric peptide sequence design. One specific analogue with enhanced and balanced GCGR/GLP-1R activations was chemically conjugated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to achieve sustained release in vivo. This PEGylated analogue was further explored pharmacologically in db/db and diet-induced obese (DIO) mice models. Chronic weekly administration significantly induced hypoglycemic effects and body weight loss with dose dependency, along with normalized adiposity, lipid metabolism, and liver steatosis. Based on its profiles in vitro and in vivo, the analogue has the great potential to develop as a novel anti-diabetic and/or anti-obese candidate. As observed more insulin stimulation and improved insulin resistance, it may be also explored for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in the future.
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