Lab of Dr. George G. Holz
Location: Institute for Human Performance
Phone: 315 464-9841
Drug discovery research in the Holz laboratory at SUNY Upstate seeks to establish new pharmacological approaches to the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. In this regard, our prior findings helped lead to FDA approval of the GLP-1 receptor agonists exenatide and liraglutide as new blood glucose-lowering agents with appetite-suppressing properties. A major breakthrough was obtained when we discovered that the GLP-1 receptor signals through the cAMP sensor Epac2 to control neural, endocrine, and cardiovascular functions relevant to the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Complementary studies concerned a fatty acid amide receptor (GPR119) and a Trp family cation channel (TRPA1), both of which we established to control GLP-1 biosynthesis and secretion. One focus of the laboratory now concerns synthetic chimeric peptides with GPCR activating properties, as validated in high-throughput FRET assays using cAMP biosensors. Such chimeric peptides incorporating amino acid motifs within GLP-1, Glucagon, and Peptide YY are likely to be of unique medical importance in that they have the potential to exhibit novel dual- or tri- agonist properties with subcutaneous administration.