Identification of the First PPARα/γ Dual Agonist Able To Bind to Canonical and Alternative Sites of PPARγ and To Inhibit Its Cdk5-Mediated Phosphorylation

J Med Chem. 2018 Sep 27;61(18):8282-8298. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00835. Epub 2018 Sep 18.


A new series of derivatives of the PPARα/γ dual agonist 1 allowed us to identify the ligand ( S)-6 as a potent partial agonist of both PPARα and γ subtypes. X-ray studies in PPARγ revealed two different binding modes of ( S)-6 to the canonical site. However, ( S)-6 was also able to bind an alternative site as demonstrated by transactivation assay in the presence of a canonical PPARγ antagonist and supported from docking experiments. This compound did not activate the PPARγ-dependent program of adipocyte differentiation inducing a very less severe lipid accumulation compared to rosiglitazone but increased the insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Finally, ( S)-6 inhibited the Cdk5-mediated phosphorylation of PPARγ at serine 273 that is currently considered the mechanism by which some PPARγ partial agonists exert antidiabetic effects similar to thiazolidinediones, without showing their typical side effects. This is the first PPARα/γ dual agonist reported to show this inhibitory effect representing the potential lead of a new class of drugs for treatment of dyslipidemic type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Animals
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 / chemistry
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • PPAR alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • PPAR gamma / agonists*
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Propionates / chemistry*
  • Propionates / pharmacology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • PPAR alpha
  • PPAR gamma
  • Propionates
  • lj570 compound
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5
  • CDK5 protein, human