Identification of a potential biomarker for FABP4 inhibition: The power of lipidomics in preclinical drug testing

Karsten Suhre, Werner Römisch-Margl, Martin Hrabé De Angelis, Jerzy Adamski, Gerd Luippold, Robert Augustin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) belongs to the family of lipid chaperones that control intracellular fluxes and compartmentalization of their respective ligands (e.g., fatty acids). FABP4, which is almost exclusively expressed in adipocytes and macrophages, contributes to the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis in mice. Lack of FABP4 protects against the development of insulin resistance associated with genetic or diet-induced obesity in mice. Furthermore, total or macrophage-specific FABP4 deficiency is protective against atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. The FABP4 small-molecule inhibitor BMS309403 has demonstrated efficacy in mouse models for type 2 diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis, resembling phenotypes of mice with FABP4 deficiency. However, despite the therapeutically attractive long-term effects of FABP4 inhibition, an acute biomarker for drug action is lacking. The authors applied mass spectrometry lipidomics analysis to in vitro and in vivo (plasma and adipose tissue) samples upon inhibitor treatment. They report the identification of a potential biomarker for acute in vivo FABP4 inhibition that is applicable for further investigations and can be implemented in simple and fast-flow injection mass spectrometry assays. In addition, this approach can be considered a proof-of-principle study that can be applied to other lipid-pathway targeting mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Screening
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • atherosclerosis
  • biomarkers
  • drug action
  • fatty acid binding protein
  • mass spectroscopy
  • metabolomics
  • type 2 diabetes


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