Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a molecule that acts as an exercise mimic, which could potentially help treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The new molecule, called 'compound 14', inhibits the function of a cellular enzyme called ATIC, which is involved in metabolism, leading to the build-up of a molecule called ZMP in cells. This increase in ZMP makes cells think that they have run out of energy by activating the cell's central energy sensor, known as AMPK, thereby causing cells to try and increase their energy levels by increasing glucose uptake and metabolism.
AMPK Activation via Modulation of De Novo Purine Biosynthesis with an Inhibitor of ATIC Homodimerization. Chemistry & Biology (2015) | DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.06.008