Synthesis and pharmaceutical characterization of site specific mycophenolic acid-modified Xenopus glucagon-like peptide-1 analogs†
To develop novel long-acting antidiabetic agents, mycophenolic acid (MPA) was used to modify Xenopus glucagon-like peptide-1 analog (GLP-1) (1) at three Lys residues through a γ-glutamyl linker. Similarly, 6-aminocaproic acid and 12-aminolauric acid with different lengths of fatty chain were used as MPA derivatives which were then conjugated with 1. By using proper protection and deprotection strategies, the synthetic process was completed directly on the resin to minimize the side reactions, and nine MPA-modified 1 derivatives (2a–2i) were obtained. Compounds 2b and 2c, which showed high GLP-1 receptor activation potencies and glucose lowering activities, were selected for further C-terminal modification to improve their stabilities and bioactivities, giving compounds 3a–3d. The receptor activation potencies and hypoglycemic activities of 3a–3d were comparable to that of liraglutide. Physicochemical and in vitro stability tests revealed that MPA conjugation led to enhanced albumin binding abilities as reflected by the improved stabilities of 3a–3d. In particular, at a dose of 25 nmol kg−1, the in vivo antidiabetic and insulinotropic activities of 3d were comparable to those of semaglutide. Finally, long-term administration of 3d achieved beneficial effects on glucose tolerance normalization and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) lowering, and no hepatotoxicity was observed. In conclusion, this research demonstrated that MPA derivatization was a practical way to develop long-acting antidiabetic peptides.