Identification and Metabolic Profiling of a Novel Human Gut-derived LEAP2 Fragment

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CONTEXT: The mechanisms underlying Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery-induced weight loss and the immediate postoperative beneficial metabolic effects associated with the operation remain uncertain. Enteroendocrine cell (EEC) secretory function has been proposed as a key factor in the marked metabolic benefits from RYGB surgery. OBJECTIVE: To identify novel gut-derived peptides with therapeutic potential in obesity and/or diabetes by profiling EEC-specific molecular changes in obese patients following RYGB-induced weight loss. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Genome-wide expression analysis was performed in isolated human small intestinal EECs obtained from 20 gut-biopsied obese subjects before and after RYGB. Targets of interest were profiled for preclinical and clinical metabolic effects. RESULTS: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass consistently increased expression levels of the inverse ghrelin receptor agonist, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 (LEAP2). A secreted endogenous LEAP2 fragment (LEAP238-47) demonstrated robust insulinotropic properties, stimulating insulin release in human pancreatic islets comparable to the gut hormone glucagon-like peptide-1. LEAP238-47 showed reciprocal effects on growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) activity, suggesting that the insulinotropic action of the peptide may be directly linked to attenuation of tonic GHSR activity. The fragment was infused in healthy human individuals (n = 10), but no glucoregulatory effect was observed in the chosen dose as compared to placebo. CONCLUSIONS: Small intestinal LEAP2 expression was upregulated after RYGB. The corresponding circulating LEAP238-47 fragment demonstrated strong insulinotropic action in vitro but failed to elicit glucoregulatory effects in healthy human subjects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e966-e981
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • bariatric surgery, enteroendocrine cells, gut hormone, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2, obesity, peptide fragment

ID: 256939978