Adult-onset diabetes, characterized by abnormally high blood sugar, affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. New treatments for this disease have centered on targeting the human receptor protein GPR40, since it can enhance sugar-dependent insulin secretion. TAK-875 is a drug developed by the company Takeda to stimulate insulin secretion by binding to this receptor. However, the structural information needed to fully understand this class of drugs has not been available until now.
In the September 4th issue of Nature, Takeda researchers reported the first three-dimensional structure of this important receptor-drug interaction. The structure was solved at the Advanced Light Source in the Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (Beamline 5.0.3) and reveals details about the mechanism of action of this drug. The results of this study point the way to better and more effective medications for diabetes.