Phytic acid (IP6) is known to have a variety of activities, such as suppressing cancer cell proliferation, improving diabetes, enhancing immunity, suppressing kidney stone formation, lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of developing coronary artery disease. However, since IP6 has many negative charges of phosphate, it is difficult to pass through the cell membrane, and there was a limit to binding it to drugs.
Therefore, we developed the prodrug Pro-IP6, which is phytic acid bound with butyric acid. Pro-IP6 was found to pass through the cell membrane and generate phytic acid intracellularly.
We investigated the effect of Pro-IP6 as a diabetes drug.
Metformin is the first-line diabetes drug used since the 1960s. Metformin is effective against diabetes because it activates the protein AMPK and promotes the uptake of glucose from outside the cell. We investigated the action of Pro-IP6 and found that it activates AMPK 200-fold more potently than metformin, promoting glucose uptake. Since administration of metformin produces lactic acid, care must be taken not to cause lactic acidosis, but it was found that Pro-IP6 does not acidify lactic acid.
When Pro-IP6 was orally administered to diabetic model mice, it was found that the dose lower than that of metformin lowered the blood glucose level of mice.
We plan to develop Pro-IP6 as the seeds of diabetes treatment drugs.