Free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1) is a G-protein coupled receptor with prominent expression on pancreatic beta cells, bones, intestinal cells as well as the nerve cells. This receptor mediates a multitude of functions in the body including release of incretins, secretion of insulin as well as sensation of pain. Since FFAR1 causes secretion of insulin and regulates glucose metabolism, efforts were made to unfold its structure followed by discovering agonists for the receptor and the utilization of these agonists in the therapy of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Development of such functional FFAR1 agonists is a necessity because the currently available therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus has numerous drawbacks, of which, the major one is hypoglycemia. Since the most prominent effect of the FFAR1 agonists is on glucose concentration in the body, so the major research is focused on treating type 2 diabetes mellitus, though the agonists could benefit other metabolic disorders and neurological disorders as well. The agonists developed so far had one major limitation, i.e., hepatotoxicity. Although, the only agonist that could reach phase 3 clinical trials was TAK-875 developed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals but it was also withdrawn due to toxic effects on the liver. Thus, there are numerous agonists for the varied binding sites of the receptor but no drug available yet. There does seem to be a ray of hope in the drugs that target FFAR1 but a lot more efforts towards drug discovery would result in the successful management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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