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Investigation of Exenatide Elimination and Its In Vivo and In Vitro Degradation

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 4 ]


Kathrin Copley, Kevin McCowen, Richard Hiles, Loretta L. Nielsen, Andrew Young and David G. Parkes   Pages 367 - 374 ( 8 )


Exenatide is a 39 amino acid incretin mimetic for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, with glucoregulatory activity similar to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Exenatide is a poor substrate for the major route of GLP-1 degradation by dipeptidyl peptidase-IV, and displays enhanced pharmacokinetics and in vivo potency in rats relative to GLP-1. The kidney appears to be the major route of exenatide elimination in the rat. We further investigated the putative sites of exenatide degradation and excretion, and identified primary degradants. Plasma exenatide concentrations were elevated and sustained in renal-ligated rats, when compared to sham-operated controls. By contrast, exenatide elimination and degradation was not affected in rat models of hepatic dysfunction. In vitro, four primary cleavage sites after amino acids (AA)- 15, -21, -22 and -34 were identified when exenatide was degraded by mouse kidney membranes. The primary cleavage sites of exenatide degradation by rat kidney membranes were after AA-14, -15, -21, and -22. In rabbit, monkey, and human, the primary cleavage sites were after AA-21 and -22. Exenatide was almost completely degraded into peptide fragments < 3 AA by the kidney membranes of the species tested. The rates of exenatide degradation by rabbit, monkey and human kidney membranes in vitro were at least 15-fold slower than mouse and rat membranes. Exenatide (1-14), (1-15), (1-22), and (23-39) were not active as either agonists or antagonists to exenatide in vitro. Exenatide (15-39) and (16-39) had moderate-to-weak antagonist activity compared with the known antagonist, exenatide (9-39). In conclusion, the kidney appears to be the primary route of elimination and degradation of exenatide.


Exenatide, exendin-4, AC2993, type 2 diabetes, GLP-1, renal clearance


Amylin Pharmaceuticals,Inc. 9360 Towne Centre Dr, Ste 110, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

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