A Duplexed High-Throughput Screen to Identify Allosteric Modulators of the Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 and Glucagon Receptors.


Injectable, degradation-resistant peptide agonists for the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor (GLP-1R), such as exenatide and liraglutide, activate the GLP-1R via a complex orthosteric-binding site and are effective therapeutics for glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Orally bioavailable orthosteric small-molecule agonists are unlikely to be developed, whereas positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) may offer an improved therapeutic profile. We hypothesize that allosteric modulators of the GLP-1R would increase the potency and efficacy of native GLP-1 in a spatial and temporally preserved manner and/or may improve efficacy or side effects of injectable analogs. We report the design, optimization, and initial results of a duplexed high-throughput screen in which cell lines overexpressing either the GLP-1R or the glucagon receptor were coplated, loaded with a calcium-sensitive dye, and probed in a three-phase assay to identify agonists, antagonists, and potentiators of GLP-1, and potentiators of glucagon. 175,000 compounds were initially screened, and progression through secondary assays yielded 98 compounds with a variety of activities at the GLP-1R. Here, we describe five compounds possessing different patterns of modulation of the GLP-1R. These data uncover PAMs that may offer a drug-development pathway to enhancing in vivo efficacy of both endogenous GLP-1 and peptide analogs.