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Title: Generation and use of new tools for the characterisation of gut hormone receptors
Author: Biggs, Emma Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 4884
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Enteroendocrine hormones released from the intestine following food intake have several roles in the control of metabolism, some of which are exploited therapeutically for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Within this thesis, focus has been on the receptors of the gut hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2). In recent years there has been a surge of interest in the enteroendocrine hormones particularly due to the success of GLP-1 mimetics in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 is an incretin hormone, which enhances glucose induced insulin secretion by binding GLP-1 receptors (GLP1R) on pancreatic β-cells. Despite the therapeutic success, several extra-pancreatic clinical effects of GLP-1 remain unexplained. Here, a GLP1R monoclonal antagonistic antibody that can block GLP1R signalling in vivo has been developed and characterised, providing a new tool for the study of GLP1R physiology. GIP is the second incretin hormone, initially referred to as the 'ugly duckling' incretin hormone due to it's ineffectiveness in inducing insulin secretion in type 2 diabetic patients. Aside from the incretin actions, GIP is thought to be involved in the regulation of high-fat diet (HFD) induced obesity. A new transgenic mouse model expressing a fluorescent reporter under the control of the Gipr promoter has been used here to identify GIPR expressing cells. This model showed GIPR expression in the pancreas, adipose tissue, duodenum and nodose ganglia. Surprisingly GIPR expressing cells were found centrally, in areas of the hypothalamus involved in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. We consequently sought to investigate the function of GIPR expressing hypothalamic cells. GLP-2, unlike GLP-1 and GIP, is not an incretin hormone. Rather, GLP-2 has been implicated in the regulation of epithelial cell proliferation and apoptosis within the intestine. Therapeutically, an analogue of GLP-2 is used for the treatment of short bowel syndrome. A common missense mutation in the GLP-2 receptor (GLP2R), D470N, has been found to be associated with type 2 diabetes, and here we sought to understand the mechanism underlying this association. The D470N mutant has decreased β-arrestin recruitment, though the significance of this finding will need further research. Overall; the new monoclonal antagonistic GLP1R antibody will help to further understand GLP1R physiology, the new transgenic GIPR mouse model has contributed to the understanding of GIPR localisation, and cell based assays have identified functional implications of a polymorphism in the GLP2R associated with an increased risk of diabetes. It is hoped that further understanding of the physiology of these gut hormone receptors will be critical in the development of new therapeutics for diabetes and obesity.
Supervisor: Gribble, Fiona ; Reimann, Frank Sponsor: MedImmune
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Enteroendocrine ; Gut hormone receptors ; GLP-1 ; GLP-2 ; GIP