Isoalantolactone derivative promotes glucose utilization in skeletal muscle cells and increases energy expenditure in db/db mice via activating AMPK-dependent signaling

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018 Jan 15:460:134-151. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2017.07.015. Epub 2017 Jul 20.


Augmenting glucose utilization and energy expenditure in skeletal muscle via AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an imperative mechanism for the management of type 2 diabetes. Chemical derivatives (2a-2h, 3, 4a-4d, 5) of the isoalantolactone (K007), a bioactive molecule from roots of Inula racemosa were synthesized to optimize the bioactivity profile to stimulate glucose utilization in skeletal muscle cells. Interestingly, 4a augmented glucose uptake, driven by enhanced translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) to cell periphery in L6 rat skeletal muscle cells. The effect of 4a was independent to phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase (PI-3-K)/Akt pathway, but mediated through Liver kinase B1 (LKB1)/AMPK-dependent signaling, leading to activation of downstream targets acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) and sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c). In db/db mice, 4a administration decreased blood glucose level and improved body mass index, lipid parameters and glucose tolerance associated with elevation of GLUT4 expression in skeletal muscle. Moreover, 4a increased energy expenditure via activating substrate utilization and upregulated the expression of thermogenic transcription factors and mitochondrial proteins in skeletal muscle, suggesting the regulation of energy balance. These findings suggest the potential implication of isoalantolactone derivatives for the management of diabetes.

Keywords: Energy metabolism; Glucose utilization; Insulin resistance; Inula racemosa; Isoalantolactone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Rats
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Time Factors


  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • isoalantolactone
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Glucose