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PLoS One. 2016 Oct 20;11(10):e0164785. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164785. eCollection 2016.

A Novel Diphenylthiosemicarbazide Is a Potential Insulin Secretagogue for Anti-Diabetic Agen.

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Division of Molecular and Metabolic Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.
Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.
Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.
Division of Advance Medical Science, Graduate School of Science, Technology and Innovation, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan.


Insulin secretagogues are used for treatment of type 2 diabetes. We attempted to discover novel small molecules to stimulate insulin secretion by using in silico similarity search using sulfonylureas as query, followed by measurement of insulin secretion. Among 38 compounds selected by in silico similarity search, we found three diphenylsemicarbazides and one quinolone that stimulate insulin secretion. We focused on compound 8 (C8), which had the strongest insulin-secreting effect. Based on the structure-activity relationship of C8-derivatives, we identified diphenylthiosemicarbazide (DSC) 108 as the most potent secretagogue. DSC108 increased the intracellular Ca2+ level in MIN6-K8 cells. Competitive inhibition experiment and electrophysiological analysis revealed sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) to be the target of DSC108 and that this diphenylthiosemicarbazide directly inhibits ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed that DSC108 has a short half-life in vivo. Oral administration of DSC108 significantly suppressed the rises in blood glucose levels after glucose load in wild-type mice and improved glucose tolerance in the Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat, a model of type 2 diabetes with impaired insulin secretion. Our data indicate that DSC108 is a novel insulin secretagogue, and is a lead compound for development of a new anti-diabetic agent.

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Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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