Antidiabetic behavior of biguanides

F Vicente-Pedrós, J Trejueque Monge, F Tomás Vert
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 1983, 72 (5): 565-7
The existence of active electron pairs on some nitrogen atoms in phenformin hydrochloride is inferred from the presence of a hydrogen catalytic polarographic wave. This finding emphasizes the ability of biguanides to form hydrogen bridges with other molecular species such as amino acids and proteins, as well as to form coordination complexes with zinc and other metallic cations by means of these electron pairs. The antidiabetic action of phenformin and other related biguanides can be explained in terms of competition between these molecules and insulin to coordinate cationic oligoelements together with their ability to form hydrogen bonds between the biguanide moiety and insulin itself.

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