GPR119 as a fat sensor

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Jul;33(7):374-81. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 May 2.


The GPR119 receptor is expressed predominantly in pancreatic β cells and in enteroendocrine cells. It is a major target for the development of anti-diabetic drugs that through GPR119 activation may stimulate both insulin and GLP-1 release. GPR119 can be activated by oleoylethanolamide and several other endogenous lipids containing oleic acid: these include N-oleoyl-dopamine, 1-oleoyl-lysophosphatidylcholine, generated in the tissue, and 2-oleoyl glycerol generated in the gut lumen. Thus, the well-known stimulation of GLP-1 release by dietary fat is probably not only mediated by free fatty acids acting through, for example, GPR40, but is also probably mediated in large part through the luminal formation of 2-monoacylglycerol acting on the 'fat sensor' GPR119. In the pancreas GPR119 may also be stimulated by 2-monoacylglycerol generated from local turnover of pancreatic triacylglycerol. Knowledge about the endogenous physiological ligands and their mode of interaction with GPR119 will be crucial for the development of efficient second-generation modulators of this important drug target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Oleic Acids / chemistry
  • Oleic Acids / metabolism
  • Oleic Acids / pharmacology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism


  • GPR119 protein, human
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Oleic Acids
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled