A novel chemically modified analogue of xenin-25 exhibits improved glucose-lowering and insulin-releasing properties

Vadivel Parthsarathy, Nigel Irwin, A Hasib, CM Martin, Stephen McClean, VK Bhat, Ming T. Ng, Peter Flatt, Victor A Gault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Xenin-25 is a K-cell derived gut peptide with insulin-releasing activity which is rapidly degraded following release into the circulation. We hypothesized that substitution of all naturally-occurring Lys and Arg residues with Gln would lead to prolonged enzyme resistance and enhanced biological efficacy.
METHODS: Peptide stability was assessed using murine plasma, in vitro insulin-releasing actions evaluated in BRIN-BD11 cells and acute glucose-lowering and insulin-releasing actions examined in high fat fed mice. For sub-chronic studies, a range of metabolic parameters and pancreatic histology were assessed in high fat fed mice which had received saline vehicle or xenin-25(gln) twice-daily for 21days.
RESULTS: In contrast to native xenin-25, xenin-25(gln) was resistant to plasma-mediated degradation and significantly stimulated insulin secretion in BRIN-BD11 cells. Acute administration of xenin-25(gln) in high fat fed mice significantly reduced blood glucose and increased plasma insulin concentrations. Twice-daily administration of xenin-25(gln) in high fat fed mice did not affect food intake, body weight or circulating insulin concentrations but significantly decreased blood glucose from day 9 onwards. Furthermore, glucose tolerance, glucose-mediated insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity and GIP-stimulated insulin-release were significantly enhanced in xenin-25(gln)-treated mice. Pancreatic immunohistochemistry revealed decreased alpha cell area with increased beta cell area and beta-to-alpha cell ratio in xenin-25(gln)-treated mice. In addition, xenin-25(gln) exerted similar beneficial actions in ob/ob mice as demonstrated by reduced blood glucose, superior glycaemic response and glucose-mediated insulin release.
CONCLUSIONS: Xenin-25(gln) is resistant to plasma-mediated degradation and exerts sustained and beneficial metabolic actions in high fat fed and ob/ob mice.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Glutamine (gln)-modified analogues of xenin may represent an attractive therapeutic approach for type 2 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-764
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Apr 2016


  • Glucose homeostasis
  • Gut hormone
  • Insulin secretion
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Xenin-25


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