Obesity often alters the response to metabolic hormones such as insulin. This pathological situation, known as insulin resistance, arises from a chronic inflammation occurring in liver and fat tissues of obese individuals. Two protein kinases, TBK1 and IKK-ε, play a major role in these processes.
Shannon Reilly, University of Michigan, USA, and colleagues demonstrated that amlexanox (pictured), a drug already used for the treatment of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and aphthous ulcers, is a selective inhibitor of both kinases. As a consequence, when administered to obese mice, this compound reduced obesity-induced inflammation, restored insulin responsiveness, and promoted weight loss. This effect was not due to a decreased food intake but it was instead promoted by an increased energy consumption. Thus, amlexanox might be an important drug for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic disorders.
- An inhibitor of the protein kinases TBK1 and IKK-ε improves obesity-related metabolic dysfunctions in mice,
S. M. Reilly, S. Chiang, S. J. Decker, L. Chang, M. Uhm, M. J. Larsen, J. R. Rubin, J. Mowers, N. M. White, I. Hochberg, M. Downes, R. T. Yu, C. Liddle, R. M. Evans, D. Oh, P. Li, J. M. Olefsky, A. R. Saltiel,
Nature Med. 2013.