Therapeutic Potential of Lentivirus-Mediated Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Gene Therapy for Diabetes

Hale M. Tasyurek, Hasan Ali Altunbas, Mustafa Kemal Balci, Thomas S. Griffith, Salih Sanlioglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Postprandial glucose-induced insulin secretion from the islets of Langerhans is facilitated by glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) - a metabolic hormone with insulinotropic properties. Among the variety of effects it mediates, GLP-1 induces delta cell secretion of somatostatin, inhibits alpha cell release of glucagon, reduces gastric emptying, and slows food intake. These events collectively contribute to weight loss over time. During type 2 diabetes (T2DM), however, the incretin response to glucose is reduced and accompanied by a moderate reduction in GLP-1 secretion. To compensate for the reduced incretin effect, a human immunodeficiency virus-based lentiviral vector was generated to deliver DNA encoding human GLP-1 (LentiGLP-1), and the anti-diabetic efficacy of LentiGLP-1 was tested in a high-fat diet/streptozotocin-induced model of T2DM. Therapeutic administration of LentiGLP-1 reduced blood glucose levels in obese diabetic Sprague Dawley rats, along with improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Normoglycemia was correlated with increased blood GLP-1 and pancreatic beta cell regeneration in LentiGLP-1-treated rats. Plasma triglyceride levels were also normalized after LentiGLP-1 injection. Collectively, these data suggest the clinical potential of GLP-1 gene transfer therapy for the treatment of T2DM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-815
Number of pages14
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is supported by grants from Akdeniz University Scientific Research Administration Division and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK-112S114).

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2018.


  • glucagon-like peptide-1
  • lentiviral gene therapy
  • type 2 diabetes


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