Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) is a ubiquitous, multifunctional, serine protease enzyme and receptor with roles in the control of endocrine and immune function, cell metabolism, growth and adhesion. As an enzyme, DPP IV cleaves the N-terminal dipeptide from the incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. This inactivates the hormones, thereby cancelling their prandial insulinotropic effect. One approach to restore incretin activity as a therapy for Type 2 diabetes has been the development of DPP IV inhibitors. Inhibitors of DPP IV have shown efficacy and tolerability when used to control the hyperglycaemia of non-insulin-dependent animal models and human Type 2 diabetes. These DPP IV inhibitors prolong active incretin hormone concentrations and may exert additional antidiabetic effects. If long-term clinical trials confirm sustained and safe control of blood glucose, DPP IV inhibitors (known as 'gliptins') may be expected to provide a new treatment modality for Type 2 diabetes.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase IV
- Incretin hormones