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Metformin trims fats to restore insulin sensitivity

Despite metformin being one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of diabetes, how it elicits its therapeutic effects has remained mysterious. A new study in mice shows that inhibitory phosphorylation of acetyl-coA carboxylases Acc1 and Acc2 by the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is essential for the ability of metformin to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose in obesity (pages 1649–1654).

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Figure 1: Metformin uses AMPK suppression of ACC to lower lipid accumulation and restores insulin sensitivity.

Katie Vicari

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Correspondence to Reuben J Shaw.

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Shaw, R. Metformin trims fats to restore insulin sensitivity. Nat Med 19, 1570–1572 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.3414

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