Beta-klotho in type 2 diabetes mellitus: From pathophysiology to therapeutic strategies
June 13, 2021
Citation: Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2021 Jun 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has become a global health problem with no cure. Despite lifestyle modifications and various pharmaceutical options, the achievement of stable and durable glucose control along with effective prevention of T2DM-related cardiovascular complications remains a challenging task in clinical management. With its selective high abundance in metabolic tissues (adipose tissue, liver, and pancreas), β-Klotho is the essential component of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor complexes. It is essential for high-affinity binding of endocrine FGF19 and FGF21 to evoke the signaling cascade actively involved in homeostatic maintenance of glucose metabolism and energy expenditure. In this Review, we discuss the biological function of β-Klotho in the regulation of glucose metabolism and offer mechanistic insights into its involvement in the pathophysiology of T2DM. We review our current understanding of the endocrine axis comprised of β-Klotho and FGFs (FGF19 and FGF21) and its regulatory effects on glucose metabolism under physiological and T2DM conditions. We also highlight advances in the development and preclinical validation of pharmacological compounds that target β-Klotho and/or the β-Klotho-FGFRs complex for the treatment of T2DM. Given the remarkable advances in this field, we also discuss outstanding research questions and the many challenges in the clinical development of β-Klotho-based therapies.