Natural compound α-pgg and its synthetic derivative 6cl-tgq alter insulin secretion: Evidence for diminishing glucose uptake as a mechanism

Xiaozhuo Chen, Nigel A. Daniels, David Cottrill, Yanyang Cao, Xuan Wang, Yunsheng Li, Pratik Shriwas, Yanrong Qian, Michael W. Archer, Nicholas B. Whitticar, Ishrat Jahan, Craig S. Nunemaker, Aili Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Previously we showed that natural compound α-penta-galloyl-glucose (α-PGG) and its synthetic derivative 6-chloro-6-deoxy-1,2,3,4-tetra-O-galloyl-α-D-glucopyranose (6Cl-TGQ) act to improve insulin signaling in adipocytes by increasing glucose transport. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of actions of α-PGG and 6Cl-TGQ on insulin secretion. Methods: Mouse islets and/or INS-1832/13 beta-cells were used to test the effects of our compounds on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i using fura-2AM, glucose transport activity via a radioactive glucose uptake assay, intracellular ATP/ADP, and extracellular acidification (ECAR) and mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates (OCAR) using Seahorse metabolic analysis. Results: Both compounds reduced GSIS in beta-cells without negatively affecting cell viability. The compounds primarily diminished glucose uptake into islets and beta-cells. Despite insulin-like effects in the peripheral tissues, these compounds do not act through the insulin receptor in islets. Further interrogation of the stimulus-secretion pathway showed that all the key metabolic factors involved in GSIS including ECAR, OCAR, ATP/ADP ratios, and [Ca2+]i of INS-1832/13 cells were diminished after the compound treatment. Conclusion: The compounds suppress glucose uptake of the beta-cells, which consequently slows down the rates of glycolysis and ATP synthesis, leading to decrease in [Ca2+]i and GSIS. The difference between adipocytes and beta-cells in effects on glucose uptake is of great interest. Further structural and functional modifications could produce new compounds with optimized therapeutic potentials for different target cells. The higher potency of synthetic 6Cl-TGQ in enhancing insulin signaling in adipocytes but lower potency in reducing glucose uptake in beta-cells compared to α-PGG suggests the feasibility of such an approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-772
Number of pages14
JournalDiabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy
StatePublished - 2021


  • 6Cl-TGQ
  • Calcium influx
  • Glucose transporter
  • Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion
  • α-PGG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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