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Diabetologia. 2018 Jun;61(6):1277-1281. doi: 10.1007/s00125-018-4604-4. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Can targeting ANGPTL proteins improve glucose tolerance?

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Department of Biochemistry, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, and Obesity Research and Education Initiative, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 169 Newton Rd, Iowa City, IA, 52242, USA.


Three members of the angiopoietin-like (ANGPTL) family of proteins, ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4 and ANGPTL8, are known regulators of plasma triacylglycerol levels. Recently, these three proteins have garnered considerable interest as potential targets for therapeutically reducing plasma triacylglycerol levels and improving cardiovascular outcomes. In this issue of Diabetologia, Janssen et al ( ) and Vatner et al ( ) show that reducing levels of ANGPTL4 and ANGPTL8, respectively, could have the added benefit of improving glucose tolerance. Interestingly, the improvements in glucose tolerance observed in both studies, both done in rodents, were coupled with increased fat mass. These findings suggest that funnelling lipids to adipose tissue and away from ectopic sites could be beneficial and strengthen the argument for pursuing the therapeutic targeting of ANGPTL proteins.


Diabetes; Gut microbiota; Insulin sensitivity; Lipolysis; Lipoprotein lipase; Lipoproteins

[Available on 2019-06-01]

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