Beneficial actions of the [A14K] analog of the frog skin peptide PGLa-AM1 in mice with obesity and degenerative diabetes: a mechanistic study

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The antidiabetic actions of [A14K]PGLa-AM1, an analog of peptide glycine-leucine-amide-AM1 isolated from skin secretions of the octoploid frog Xenopus amieti, were investigated in genetically diabetic-obese db/db mice. Twice daily administration of [A14K]PGLa-AM1 (75 nmol/kg body weight) for 28 days significantly (P < 0.05) decreased circulating blood glucose and HbA1c and increased plasma insulin concentrations leading to improvements in glucose tolerance. The elevated levels of triglycerides, LDL and cholesterol associated with the db/db phenotype were significantly reduced by peptide administration. Elevated plasma alanine transaminase, aspartic acid transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase activities and creatinine concentrations were also significantly decreased. Peptide treatment increased pancreatic insulin content and improved the responses of isolated islets to established insulin secretagogues. No significant changes in islet β-cell and α-cell areas were observed in [A14K]PGLa-AM1 treated mice but the loss of large and medium-size islets was prevented. Peptide administration resulted in a significant (P < 0.01) increase in islet expression of the gene encoding Pdx-1, a major transcription factor in islet cells determining β-cell survival and function, resulting in increased expression of genes involved with insulin secretion (Abcc8, Kcnj11, Slc2a2, Cacn1c) together with the genes encoding the incretin receptors Glp1r and Gipr. In addition, the elevated expression of insulin signalling genes (Slc2a4, Insr, Irs1, Akt1, Pik3ca, Ppm1b) in skeletal muscle associated with the db/db phenotype was downregulated by peptide treatment These data suggest that the anti-diabetic properties of [A14K]PGLa-AM1 are mediated by molecular changes that enhance both the secretion and action of insulin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170472
Pages (from-to)170472
Early online date15 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a project grant from Diabetes U.K (Grant Number 12/0004457 ), the Northern Ireland Department for Education and Learning , and Ulster University Strategic Funding .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Gene transcription
  • Insulin secretion
  • Insulin signalling
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • db/db mice


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