TNP [N2-(m-Trifluorobenzyl), N6-(p-nitrobenzyl)purine] ameliorates diet induced obesity and insulin resistance via inhibition of the IP6K1 pathway

Sarbani Ghoshal, Qingzhang Zhu, Alice Asteian, Hua Lin, Haifei Xu, Glen Ernst, James C. Barrow, Baoji Xu, Michael D. Cameron, Theodore M. Kamenecka, Anutosh Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective Obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) lead to various life-threatening diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, asthma, and neurodegeneration. Therefore, extensive research is ongoing to identify novel pathways that can be targeted in obesity/T2D. Deletion of the inositol pyrophosphate (5-IP7) biosynthetic enzyme, inositol hexakisphosphate kinase-1 (IP6K1), protects mice from high fat diet (HFD) induced obesity (DIO) and insulin resistance. Yet, whether this pathway is a valid pharmacologic target in obesity/T2D is not known. Here, we demonstrate that TNP [N2-(m-Trifluorobenzyl), N6-(p-nitrobenzyl)purine], a pan-IP6K inhibitor, has strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects in DIO mice. Methods Q-NMR, GTT, ITT, food intake, energy expenditure, QRT-PCR, ELISA, histology, and immunoblot studies were conducted in short (2.5-week)- and long (10-week)-term TNP treated DIO C57/BL6 WT and IP6K1-KO mice, under various diet and temperature conditions. Results TNP, when injected at the onset of HFD-feeding, decelerates initiation of DIO and insulin resistance. Moreover, TNP facilitates weight loss and restores metabolic parameters, when given to DIO mice. However, TNP does not reduce weight gain in HFD-fed IP6K1-KO mice. TNP specifically enhances insulin sensitivity in DIO mice via Akt activation. TNP decelerates weight gain primarily by enhancing thermogenic energy expenditure in the adipose tissue. Accordingly, TNP's effect on body weight is partly abolished whereas its impact on glucose homeostasis is preserved at thermoneutral temperature. Conclusion Pharmacologic inhibition of the inositol pyrophosphate pathway has strong therapeutic potential in obesity, T2D, and other metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-917
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt
  • Diabetes
  • Energy expenditure
  • IP6K
  • Inositol pyrophosphate
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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