BAM15-mediated mitochondrial uncoupling protects against obesity and improves glycemic control.

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Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Despite this, current strategies for the treatment of obesity remain ineffective at achieving long-term weight control. This is due, in part, to difficulties in identifying tolerable and efficacious small molecules or biologics capable of regulating systemic nutrient homeostasis. Here, we demonstrate that BAM15, a mitochondrially targeted small molecule protonophore, stimulates energy expenditure and glucose and lipid metabolism to protect against diet-induced obesity. Exposure to BAM15 in vitro enhanced mitochondrial respiratory kinetics, improved insulin action, and stimulated nutrient uptake by sustained activation of AMPK. C57BL/6J mice treated with BAM15 were resistant to weight gain. Furthermore, BAM15-treated mice exhibited improved body composition and glycemic control independent of weight loss, effects attributable to drug targeting of lipid-rich tissues. We provide the first phenotypic characterization and demonstration of pre-clinical efficacy for BAM15 as a pharmacological approach for the treatment of obesity and related diseases.

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EMBO molecular medicine

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