Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

A marriage made to last in drug design

Many mechanisms can contribute to complex diseases such as metabolic diseases; thus, combination therapies may be required to target individual underlying pathological mechanisms. A new study combines glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) and estrogen in a single molecule, allowing selective targeting of this conjugate to cells that express the GLP1 receptor. This strategy improves the metabolic profile of obese mice without the adverse side effects associated with estrogen therapy (pages 1847–1856).

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A summary of the effects of GLP1, estrogen and a conjugated GLP1–estrogen compound.

Debbie Maizels


  1. 1

    Finan, B. et al. Nat. Med. 18, 1847–1856 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Dietrich, M.O. & Horvath, T.L. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 11, 675–691 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Zhang, Y. et al. Nature 372, 425–432 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Halaas, J.L. et al. Science 269, 543–546 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Dietrich, M.O. & Horvath, T.L. Eur. J. Neurosci. 30, 1688–1696 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Gao, Q. & Horvath, T.L. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 294, E817–E826 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Kalra, S.P. et al. Endocr. Rev. 20, 68–100 (1999).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Gao, Q. et al. Nat. Med. 13, 89–94 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Pinto, S. et al. Science 304, 110–115 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Dietrich, M.O. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 15, 1108–1110 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tamas L Horvath.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dietrich, M., Horvath, T. A marriage made to last in drug design. Nat Med 18, 1737–1738 (2012).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing