“The goal is to develop therapies to enhance G3PP function in humans to reduce the toxic effects of sugar and address the cause of aging-related diseases associated with excessive sugar and fat intake,” says Dr. Marc Prentki, Principal Scientist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre and Director of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center, who leads the research with Dr. S.R. Murthy Madiraju.
Activators of G3PP as drugs to treat cardiometabolic diseases and promote healthy aging are being developed by Montreal biotech, NIMIUM Therapeutics, led by CEO Dr. Philippe Walker. Prentki serves as CSO.
Scientists used the C. elegans worm model, common in research on aging, to demonstrate that increasing G3PP activity prolongs lifespan and significantly improves healthspan of the animals. Elevated G3PP activity reduced fat storage and protected against excess glucose and oxidative stress damaging effects. G3PP works by turning excess glucose into glycerol, which can be easily eliminated by the body. G3PP was also shown to protect insulin-secreting beta cells, which lose viability when too much glucose is present.
This research was supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The team consisted of Elite Possik, first author of the article, Clémence Schmitt, Anfal Al-Mass, Ying Bai, Laurence Côté, Johanne Morin, Heidi Erb, Abel Oppong, Wahab Kahloan, J. Alex Parker, S.R. Murthy Madiraju, and Marc Prentki.