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Diabetes. 2000 Dec;49(12):2070-8.

Overexpression of glutamine: fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase in the liver of transgenic mice results in enhanced glycogen storage, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and impaired glucose tolerance.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Salt Lake City 84132, USA.

Abstract

To examine the effect of increased hexosamine flux in liver, the rate-limiting enzyme in hexosamine biosynthesis (glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase [GFA]) was overexpressed in transgenic mice using the PEPCK promoter. Liver from random-fed transgenic mice had 1.6-fold higher GFA activity compared with nontransgenic control littermates (276 +/- 24 pmol x mg(-1) x min(-1) in transgenic mice vs. 176 +/- 18 pmol x mg(-1) x min(-1) in controls, P < 0.05) and higher levels of the hexosamine end product UDP-N-acetyl glucosamine (288 +/- 11 pmol/g in transgenic mice vs. 233 +/- 10 pmol/g in controls, P < 0.001). Younger transgenic mice compared with control mice had lower fasting serum glucose (4.8 +/- 0.5 mmol/l in transgenic mice vs. 6.5 +/- 0.8 mmol/l in controls, P < 0.05) without higher insulin levels (48.0 +/- 7.8 pmol/l in transgenic mice vs. 56.4 +/- 5.4 pmol/l in controls, P = NS); insulin levels were significantly lower in transgenic males (P < 0.05). At 6 months of age, transgenic animals had normal insulin sensitivity by the hyperinsulinemic clamp technique. Hepatic glycogen content was higher in the transgenic mice (108.6 +/- 5.2 pmol/g in transgenic mice vs. 32.8 +/- 1.3 micromol/g in controls, P < 0.01), associated with an inappropriate activation of glycogen synthase. Serum levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) and triglycerides were also elevated (FFAs, 0.67 +/- 0.03 mmol/l in transgenic mice vs. 0.14 +/- 0.01 in controls; triglycerides, 1.34 +/- 0.15 mmol/l in transgenic mice vs. 0.38 +/- 0.01 in controls, P < 0.01). Older transgenic mice became heavier than control mice and exhibited relative glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. The glucose disposal rate at 8 months of age was 154 +/- 5 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1) in transgenic mice vs. 191 +/- 6 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1) in controls (P < 0.05). We conclude that hexosamines are mediators of glucose sensing for the regulation of hepatic glycogen and lipid metabolism. Increased hexosamine flux in the liver signals a shift toward fuel storage, resulting ultimately in obesity and insulin resistance.

PMID:
11118009
DOI:
10.2337/diabetes.49.12.2070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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