This week in therapeutics

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Target/marker/pathway

Summary

Licensing status

Publication and contact information

Endocrine/metabolic disease

Metabolic disease

Unknown

Studies in cell culture and mice suggest b-aminoisobutyric acid could be useful for treating metabolic disease. b-Aminoisobutyric acid is secreted into the bloodstream by muscles during exercise. In a human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell model of adipocyte differentiation, b-aminoisobutyric acid increased differentiation into brown adipose tissue compared with vehicle control. In mice, b-aminoisobutyric acid-treated drinking water improved glucose tolerance and decreased body fat compared with untreated drinking water. Next steps could include testing b-aminoisobutyric acid in mouse models of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

SciBX 7(6); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.174
Published online Feb. 13, 2014

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Roberts, L.D. et al. Cell Metab.; published online Jan. 7, 2014;
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2013.12.003
Contact: Robert E. Gerszten, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
e-mail:
rgerszten@partners.org