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J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 2;286(48):41838-51. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.245456. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Targeting Acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) with small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of metabolic diseases.

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Biocorrection Research Unit, Pfizer, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, USA.


Acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) is one of two known DGAT enzymes that catalyze the final step in triglyceride synthesis. Findings from genetically modified mice as well as pharmacological studies suggest that inhibition of DGAT1 is a promising strategy for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Here we characterize a tool DGAT1 inhibitor compound, T863. We found that T863 is a potent inhibitor for both human and mouse DGAT1 in vitro, which acts on the acyl-CoA binding site of DGAT1 and inhibits DGAT1-mediated triacylglycerol formation in cells. In an acute lipid challenge model, oral administration of T863 significantly delayed fat absorption and resulted in lipid accumulation in the distal small intestine of mice, mimicking the effects of genetic ablation of DGAT1. In diet-induced obese mice, oral administration of T863 for 2 weeks caused weight loss, reduction in serum and liver triglycerides, and improved insulin sensitivity. In addition to the expected triglyceride-lowering activity, T863 also lowered serum cholesterol. Hepatic IRS2 protein was dramatically up-regulated in mice treated with T863, possibly contributing to improved insulin sensitivity. In differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, T863 enhanced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, suggesting a possible role for adipocytes to improve insulin sensitivity upon DGAT1 inhibition. These results reveal novel mechanistic insights into the insulin-sensitizing effects of DGAT1 inhibition in mouse models. Taken together, our study provides a comprehensive evaluation of a small molecule inhibitor for DGAT1 and suggests that pharmacological inhibition of DGAT1 holds promise in treating diverse metabolic disorders.

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