Low-abundance regulatory peptides, including metabolically important gut hormones, have shown promising therapeutic potential. Here, we present a streamlined mass spectrometry-based platform for identifying and characterizing low-abundance regulatory peptides in humans. We demonstrate the clinical applicability of this platform by studying a hitherto neglected glucose- and appetite-regulating gut hormone, namely, oxyntomodulin. Our results show that the secretion of oxyntomodulin in patients with type 2 diabetes is significantly impaired, and that its level is increased by more than 10-fold after gastric bypass surgery. Furthermore, we report that oxyntomodulin is co-distributed and co-secreted with the insulin-stimulating and appetite-regulating gut hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), is inactivated by the same protease (dipeptidyl peptidase-4) as GLP-1 and acts through its receptor. Thus, oxyntomodulin may participate with GLP-1 in the regulation of glucose metabolism and appetite in humans. In conclusion, this mass spectrometry-based platform is a powerful resource for identifying and characterizing metabolically active low-abundance peptides.
Keywords: GLP-1; Gut hormones; Low-abundant peptides; Mass-spectrometry; Proteomics.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.