ENOblock, a unique small molecule inhibitor of the non-glycolytic functions of enolase, alleviates the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Cho H, Um J, Lee JH et al.

New Drug Targets Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 1 Oryong-Dong, Buk-Gu, Gwangju, 61005, Republic of Korea.

Scientific reports. Mar 2017.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) significantly impacts on human health and patient numbers are predicted to rise. Discovering novel drugs and targets for treating T2DM is a research priority. In this study, we investigated targeting of the glycolysis enzyme, enolase, using the small molecule ENOblock, which binds enolase and modulates its non-glycolytic ‘moonlighting’ functions. In insulin-responsive cells ENOblock induced enolase nuclear translocation, where this enzyme acts as a transcriptional repressor. In a mammalian model of T2DM, ENOblock treatment reduced hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Liver and kidney tissue of ENOblock-treated mice showed down-regulation of known enolase target genes and reduced enolase enzyme activity. Indicators of secondary diabetic complications, such as tissue apoptosis, inflammatory markers and fibrosis were inhibited by ENOblock treatment. Compared to the well-characterized anti-diabetes drug, rosiglitazone, ENOblock produced greater beneficial effects on lipid homeostasis, fibrosis, inflammatory markers, nephrotoxicity and cardiac hypertrophy. ENOblock treatment was associated with the down-regulation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1, which are known to produce anti-diabetic effects. In summary, these findings indicate that ENOblock has potential for therapeutic development to treat T2DM. Previously considered as a ‘boring’ housekeeping gene, these results also implicate enolase as a novel drug target for T2DM.


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