A Small Molecule, UAB126, Reverses Diet-Induced Obesity and Its Associated Metabolic Disorders
figureposted on 08.07.2020 by Ada Admin, Guang Ren, Teayoun Kim, Hae-Suk Kim, Martin E. Young, Donald D. Muccio, Venkatram R. Atigadda, Samuel I. Blum, Hubert M. Tse, Kirk M. Habegger, Sushant Bhatnagar, Tatjana Coric, Mary-Ann Bjornsti, Anath Shalev, Stuart J. Frank, Jeong-a Kim
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Targeting rexinoid X receptor (RXR) has been proposed as one of the therapeutic strategies to treat individuals with metabolic syndrome, because RXR heterodimerizes with multiple nuclear receptors that regulate genes involved in metabolism. Despite numerous efforts, RXR ligands (rexinoids) have not been approved for clinical trials to treat metabolic syndrome due to the serious side effects such as hypertriglyceridemia and altered thyroid hormone axis. Herein, we demonstrate a novel rexinoid-like small molecule, UAB126, which has positive effects on metabolic syndrome without the known side effects of potent rexinoids. Oral administration of UAB126 ameliorated obesity, insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and hyperlipidemia without changes in food intake, physical activity, and thyroid hormone levels. RNA-seq analysis revealed that UAB126 regulates the expression of genes in the liver that are modulated by several nuclear receptors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha and/or liver X receptor (LXR) in conjunction with retinoid X receptor (RXR). Furthermore, UAB126 not only prevented but also reversed obesity-associated metabolic disorders. The results suggest that optimized modulation of RXR may be a promising strategy to treat metabolic disorders without side effects. Thus, the present study reveals that UAB126 offers as an attractive therapy to treat individuals with obesity and its co-morbidities.