Mechanisms of Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibition: Insights From Large-Scale Proteomics.
To assess the effects of empagliflozin, a selective sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, on broad biological systems through proteomics.Aptamer-based proteomics was used to quantify 3,713 proteins in 144 paired plasma samples obtained from 72 participants across the spectrum of glucose tolerance before and after 4 weeks of empagliflozin 25 mg/day. The biology of the plasma proteins significantly changed by empagliflozin (at false discovery rate-corrected P < 0.05) was discerned through Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.Empagliflozin significantly affected levels of 43 proteins, 6 related to cardiomyocyte function (fatty acid-binding protein 3 and 4 [FABPA], neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase, renin, thrombospondin 4, and leptin receptor), 5 to iron handling (ferritin heavy chain 1, transferrin receptor protein 1, neogenin, growth differentiation factor 2 [GDF2], and β2-microglobulin), and 1 to sphingosine/ceramide metabolism (neutral ceramidase), a known pathway of cardiovascular disease. Among the protein changes achieving the strongest statistical significance, insulin-like binding factor protein-1 (IGFBP-1), transgelin-2, FABPA, GDF15, and sulphydryl oxidase 2 precursor were increased, while ferritin, thrombospondin 3, and Rearranged during Transfection (RET) were decreased by empagliflozin administration.SGLT2 inhibition is associated, directly or indirectly, with multiple biological effects, including changes in markers of cardiomyocyte contraction/relaxation, iron handling, and other metabolic and renal targets. The most significant differences were detected in protein species (GDF15, ferritin, IGFBP-1, and FABP) potentially related to the clinical and metabolic changes that were actually measured in the same patients. These novel results may inform further studies using targeted proteomics and a prospective design.