A Novel Antidiabetic Therapy: Free Fatty Acid Receptors as Potential Drug Target

Author(s): Hiroki Sekiguchi, Mayu Kasubuchi, Sae Hasegawa, Nicolas Pelisch, Ikuo Kimura, Atsuhiko Ichimura.

Journal Name: Current Diabetes Reviews

Volume 11 , Issue 2 , 2015

Become EABM
Become Reviewer


Excessive dietary intake of fat is strongly involved in the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Free fatty acids (FFAs), which are provided from dietary fat, are not only important nutrients, but also act as signaling molecules and stimulate key biological functions. Recent physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that several G-protein coupled receptors, such as FFAR1–4, are receptors for FFAs. FFAR1 and FFAR4 are activated by medium- and long-chain fatty acids, whereas FFAR2 and FFAR3 are activated by short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These FFA receptors (FFARs) mediate various physiological functions, depending on the carbon chain length of the FFAs and the ligand specificity of the FFARs. Functional analyses have revealed that FFARs mediate important metabolic functions, such as peptide hormone secretion and inflammation, and thereby contribute to energy homeostasis. Since imbalances in energy homeostasis lead to metabolic disorders, such as obesity and T2D, FFARs are considered to be key therapeutic targets in these diseases. In particular, recent studies have shown that the administration of selective agonists of FFAR1 and FFAR4 improved glucose metabolism and ameliorated systemic metabolic disorders. Furthermore, the biological functions of SCFAs in anti-inflammation and energy metabolism are linked with the activation of FFAR2 and FFAR3. Hence, in this review, we summarize the physiological functions of FFARs and discuss the potential of selective ligands of FFARs for development as drugs to treat metabolic disorders, such as T2D and obesity.

Keywords: FFARs, diabetes, free fatty acids, insulin, energy homeostasis, glucose.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [107 - 115]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1573399811666150302112421
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 66