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1.  Genetic Control of Obesity and Gut Microbiota Composition in Response to High-Fat, High-Sucrose Diet in Mice 
Cell metabolism  2013;17(1):141-152.
SUMMARY
Obesity is a highly heritable disease driven by complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Human genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of loci contributing to obesity; however, a major limitation of these studies is the inability to assess environmental interactions common to obesity. Using a systems genetics approach, we measured obesity traits, global gene expression, and gut microbiota composition in response to a high-fat/high-sucrose (HF/HS) diet of more than 100 inbred strains of mice. Here we show that HF/HS feeding promotes robust, strain-specific changes in obesity that is not accounted for by food intake and provide evidence for a genetically determined set-point for obesity. GWAS analysis identified 11 genome-wide significant loci associated with obesity traits, several of which overlap with loci identified in human studies. We also show strong relationships between genotype and gut microbiota plasticity during HF/HS feeding and identify gut microbial phylotypes associated with obesity.
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2012.12.007
PMCID: PMC3545283  PMID: 23312289
2.  Potency, selectivity and prolonged binding of saxagliptin to DPP4: maintenance of DPP4 inhibition by saxagliptin in vitro and ex vivo when compared to a rapidly-dissociating DPP4 inhibitor 
BMC Pharmacology  2012;12:2.
Background
Dipeptidylpeptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors have clinical benefit in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus by increasing levels of glucose-lowering incretin hormones, such as glucagon-like peptide -1 (GLP-1), a peptide with a short half life that is secreted for approximately 1 hour following a meal. Since drugs with prolonged binding to their target have been shown to maximize pharmacodynamic effects while minimizing drug levels, we developed a time-dependent inhibitor that has a half-life for dissociation from DPP4 close to the duration of the first phase of GLP-1 release.
Results
Saxagliptin and its active metabolite (5-hydroxysaxagliptin) are potent inhibitors of human DPP4 with prolonged dissociation from its active site (Ki = 1.3 nM and 2.6 nM, t1/2 = 50 and 23 minutes respectively at 37°C). In comparison, both vildagliptin (3.5 minutes) and sitagliptin ( < 2 minutes) rapidly dissociated from DPP4 at 37°C. Saxagliptin and 5-hydroxysaxagliptin are selective for inhibition of DPP4 versus other DPP family members and a large panel of other proteases, and have similar potency and efficacy across multiple species.
Inhibition of plasma DPP activity is used as a biomarker in animal models and clinical trials. However, most DPP4 inhibitors are competitive with substrate and rapidly dissociate from DPP4; therefore, the type of substrate, volume of addition and final concentration of substrate in these assays can change measured inhibition. We show that unlike a rapidly dissociating DPP4 inhibitor, inhibition of plasma DPP activity by saxagliptin and 5-hydroxysaxagliptin in an ex vivo assay was not dependent on substrate concentration when substrate was added rapidly because saxagliptin and 5-hydroxysaxagliptin dissociate slowly from DPP4, once bound. We also show that substrate concentration was important for rapidly dissociating DPP4 inhibitors.
Conclusions
Saxagliptin and its active metabolite are potent, selective inhibitors of DPP4, with prolonged dissociation from its active site. They also demonstrate prolonged inhibition of plasma DPP4 ex vivo in animal models, which implies that saxagliptin and 5-hydroxysaxagliptin would continue to inhibit DPP4 during rapid increases in substrates in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1471-2210-12-2
PMCID: PMC3373380  PMID: 22475049

Results 1-2 (2)