Inhibition of the methionine aminopeptidase 2 enzyme for the treatment of obesity

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014 Feb 28;7:73-84. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S56924. eCollection 2014.


Worldwide prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. Obesity is the result of interactions among the environmental factors, genetic predisposition, and human behavior. Even modest weight reduction in obese patients provides beneficial health outcomes. For effective weight reduction, a drug should either increase energy expenditure or decrease energy intake without causing serious adverse effects. To overcome lack of efficacy and central nervous system related side effects, exploitation of the peripheral mechanism of anti-obesity action is needed. Inhibition of pathological angiogenesis in adipose tissue is one such peripheral mechanism that has attracted the attention of researchers in this area. Although originally developed as anti-cancer agents, methionine aminopeptidase (MetAP2) inhibitors induce significant and sustained weight reduction. Here, we review preclinical and clinical pharmacology of MetAP2 inhibitors. Beloranib is a prototype MetAP2 inhibitor, and currently in advanced clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. Clinical data of beloranib indicate that MetAP2 inhibitors could be a future treatment option for weight reduction without serious adverse effects. Further clinical data from Phase III trials will add to our growing knowledge of MetAP2 inhibitor potential for anti-obesity therapy.

Keywords: MetAP2; angiogenesis; anti-obesity; beloranib; body weight.

Publication types

  • Review