Targeting Type 2 Diabetes with C‑Glucosyl Dihydrochalcones as Selective Sodium Glucose Co-Transporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation

Inhibiting glucose reabsorption by sodium glucose co-transporter proteins (SGLTs) in the kidneys is a relatively new strategy for treating type 2 diabetes. Selective inhibition of SGLT2 over SGLT1 is critical for minimizing adverse side effects associated with SGLT1 inhibition. A library of C-glucosyl dihydrochalcones and their dihydrochalcone and chalcone precursors was synthesized and tested as SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibitors using a cell-based fluorescence assay of glucose uptake. The most potent inhibitors of SGLT2 (IC50 = 9–23 nM) were considerably weaker inhibitors of SGLT1 (IC50 = 10–19 μM). They showed no effect on the sodium independent GLUT family of glucose transporters, and the most potent ones were not acutely toxic to cultured cells. The interaction of a C-glucosyl dihydrochalcone with a POPC membrane was modeled computationally, providing evidence that it is not a pan-assay interference compound. These results point toward the discovery of structures that are potent and highly selective inhibitors of SGLT2.