The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear hormone receptors that regulate glucose and lipid homeostasis. The PPARγ subtype plays a central role in the regulation of adipogenesis and is the molecular target for the 2,4-thiazolidinedione class of antidiabetic drugs. Structural studies have revealed that agonist ligands activate the PPARs through direct interactions with the C-terminal region of the ligand-binding domain, which includes the activation function 2 helix. GW0072 was identified as a high-affinity PPARγ ligand that was a weak partial agonist of PPARγ transactivation. X-ray crystallography revealed that GW0072 occupied the ligand-binding pocket by using different epitopes than the known PPAR agonists and did not interact with the activation function 2 helix. In cell culture, GW0072 was a potent antagonist of adipocyte differentiation. These results establish an approach to the design of PPAR ligands with modified biological activities
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