Saxagliptin is an orally active hypoglycemic (anti-diabetic drug) of the new dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor class of drugs. FDA approved on July 31, 2009. Saxagliptin is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor antidiabetic for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. DPP-4 inhibitors are a class of compounds that work by affecting the action of natural hormones in the body called incretins. Incretins decrease blood sugar by increasing consumption of sugar by the body, mainly through increasing insulin production in the pancreas, and by reducing production of sugar by the liver. [Bristol-Myers Squibb Press Release] DPP-4 is a membrane associated peptidase which is found in many tissues, lymphocytes and plasma. DPP-4 has two main mechanisms of action, an enzymatic function and another mechanism where DPP-4 binds adenosine deaminase, which conveys intracellular signals via dimerization when activated. Saxagliptin forms a reversible, histidine-assisted covalent bond between its nitrile group and the S630 hydroxyl oxygen on DPP-4. The inhibition of DPP-4 increases levels active of glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which inhibits glucagon production from pancreatic alpha cells and increases production of insulin from pancreatic beta cells. NCATS
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