Author(s): Farrelly D, Brown KS, Tieman A, Ren J, Lira SA,
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Abstract The importance of glucokinase (GK; EC 184.108.40.206) in glucose homeostasis has been demonstrated by the association of GK mutations with diabetes mellitus in humans and by alterations in glucose metabolism in transgenic and gene knockout mice. Liver GK activity in humans and rodents is allosterically inhibited by GK regulatory protein (GKRP). To further understand the role of GKRP in GK regulation, the mouse GKRP gene was inactivated. With the knockout of the GKRP gene, there was a parallel loss of GK protein and activity in mutant mouse liver. The loss was primarily because of posttranscriptional regulation of GK, indicating a positive regulatory role for GKRP in maintaining GK levels and activity. As in rat hepatocytes, both GK and GKRP were localized in the nuclei of mouse hepatocytes cultured in low-glucose-containing medium. In the presence of fructose or high concentrations of glucose, conditions known to relieve GK inhibition by GKRP in vitro, only GK was translocated into the cytoplasm. In the GKRP-mutant hepatocytes, GK was not found in the nucleus under any tested conditions. We propose that GKRP functions as an anchor to sequester and inhibit GK in the hepatocyte nucleus, where it is protected from degradation. This ensures that glucose phosphorylation is minimal when the liver is in the fasting, glucose-producing phase. This also enables the hepatocytes to rapidly mobilize GK into the cytoplasm to phosphorylate and store or metabolize glucose after the ingestion of dietary glucose. In GKRP-mutant mice, the disruption of this regulation and the subsequent decrease in GK activity leads to altered glucose metabolism and impaired glycemic control.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism