Corrination of a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist for Glycemic Control without Emesis

Tito Borner, Jayme L. Workinger, Ian C. Tinsley, Samantha M. Fortin, Lauren M. Stein, Oleg G. Chepurny, George G. Holz, Aleksandra J. Wierzba, Dorota Gryko, Ebba Nexø, Evan D. Shaulson, Ankur Bamezai, Valentina A.Rodriguez Da Silva, Bart C. De Jonghe, Matthew R. Hayes, Robert P. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus often produce nausea, vomiting, and in some patients, undesired anorexia. Notably, these behavioral effects are caused by direct central GLP-1R activation. Herein, we describe the creation of a GLP-1R agonist conjugate with modified brain penetrance that enhances GLP-1R-mediated glycemic control without inducing vomiting. Covalent attachment of the GLP-1R agonist exendin-4 (Ex4) to dicyanocobinamide (Cbi), a corrin ring containing precursor of vitamin B12, produces a “corrinated” Ex4 construct (Cbi-Ex4). Data collected in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus), an emetic mammal, reveal beneficial effects of Cbi-Ex4 relative to Ex4, as evidenced by improvements in glycemic responses in glucose tolerance tests and a profound reduction of emetic events. Our findings highlight the potential for clinical use of Cbi-Ex4 for millions of patients seeking improved glycemic control without common side effects (e.g., emesis) characteristic of current GLP-1 therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107768
JournalCell Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 16 2020


  • B12
  • GLP-1 agonist
  • anorexia
  • brain permeability
  • cobinamide
  • diabetes
  • emesis
  • hypophagia
  • musk shrew
  • reduced side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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