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To design and evaluate a novel AWRK6 peptide-based long-acting GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) conjugated a recombinant polyethylene glycol mimetic (XTEN protein) with significant therapeutic potential on type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) alone as well as Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection in combination with double shRNA. First, four AWRK6 analogs (termed XA-1 to XA-4) were designed and produced by solid phase synthesis strategy. Further surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurement and in vitro cAMP accumulation assay were performed to detect the GLP-1R binding affinities and GLP-1R activation, respectively. The in vivo efficacy evaluation including pharmacokinetic test, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), hypoglycemic duration test and chronic pharmacodynamics study in rodent animals were all carefully performed. Four XA peptides were synthesized with purity >99%. High binding affinity as well as activation potency of XA-4 for GLP-1R were demonstrated by SPR and cell-based luciferase reporter assay, respectively. Additionally, XA-4 exhibited the long-lasting antidiabetic effects in the multiple OGTTs, hypoglycemic duration test and chronic study in mice. Furthermore, combined treatment of XA-4 and double shRNA (D-shRNA) achieved potent antiviral effects in HSV-2 infected HEK293 cells. XA-4 exhibited promising pharmaceutical potential to be a therapeutic drug for treating T2D, and also held potential to against the HSV-2 infection, which is really an accidental discovery. The strategy of recombinant XTENylation can also be applied to other peptides or small molecules for the development of long-acting therapeutic drugs. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Xiaomin Zhang, Shuying Gao, Maosheng Liu, Nina Wei, Qingfeng Zhang, Xiangyang Li, Xianli Niu. Novel XTENylated AWRK6 analog with hypoglycemic activity, and anti-HSV-2 potential in combination with double shRNA. Life sciences. 2021 Jun 01;274:119313

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PMID: 33667511

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