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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Oct;285(4):E685-92.

Novel concepts in insulin regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis.

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Department of Endocrinology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


The regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis is an important process in the adjustment of the blood glucose level, and pathological changes in the glucose production of the liver are a central characteristic in type 2 diabetes. The pharmacological intervention in signaling events that regulate the expression of the key gluconeogenic enzymes phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and the catalytic subunit glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase) is regarded as a potential strategy for the treatment of metabolic aberrations associated with this disease. However, such intervention requires a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of this process. Glucagon and glucocorticoids are known to increase hepatic gluconeogenesis by inducing the expression of PEPCK and G-6-Pase. The coactivator protein PGC-1 has been identified as an important mediator of this regulation. In contrast, insulin is known to suppress both PEPCK and G-6-Pase gene expression by the activation of PI 3-kinase. However, PI 3-kinase-independent pathways can also lead to the inhibition of gluconeogenic enzymes. This review focuses on signaling mechanisms and nuclear events that transduce the regulation of gluconeogenic enzymes.

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