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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Jan;332(1):274-80. doi: 10.1124/jpet.109.160531. Epub 2009 Oct 19.

Pharmacological characterization of human incretin receptor missense variants.

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Molecular Pharmacology Research Center, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are gut-derived incretin hormones that regulate blood glucose levels. In addition to their widely accepted insulinotropic role, there is evidence that GLP-1 modulates feeding behavior and GIP regulates lipid metabolism, thereby promoting postprandial fat deposition. In this study, we investigated whether naturally occurring polymorphisms in the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) and the GIP receptor (GIP-R) affect the pharmacological properties of these proteins. After transient expression of the receptors in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, basal and ligand-induced cAMP production were assessed by use of luciferase reporter gene assays. Our data reveal that the wild-type GIP-R displays a considerable degree of ligand-independent activity. In comparison, the GIP-R variants C46S, G198C, R316L, and E354Q show a marked decrease in basal signaling that may, at least in part, be explained by reduced cell surface expression. When stimulated with GIP, the C46S and R316L mutants display significantly reduced potency (>1000 and 25- fold, respectively) compared with wild type. Complementary competition binding assays further demonstrate that the C46S variant fails to bind radio-iodinated GIP, whereas all other GIP-R mutants maintain normal ligand affinity. In contrast to the GIP-R, the wild-type GLP-1R lacks constitutive activity. Furthermore, none of the 10 GLP-1R missense mutations showed an alteration in pharmacological properties versus wild type. The extent to which abnormalities in GIP-R function may lead to physiological changes or affect drug sensitivity in selected populations (e.g., obese, diabetic individuals) remains to be further investigated.

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