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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Dec;19(10):380-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

O-GlcNAc modification of transcription factors, glucose sensing and glucotoxicity.

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Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, CNRS (UMR 8104), Paris, France.


Regulation of proteins by O-GlcNAc modification is becoming a major area of research. This reversible modification depends on glucose concentrations and, therefore, constitutes a powerful mechanism to regulate protein activities according to glucose availability. Its importance in glucose-dependent gene transcription is underlined by its role in pancreatic insulin biosynthesis (through PDX-1 and NeuroD1 O-GlcNAc modifications) and leptin synthesis in adipose tissue (through Sp1 O-GlcNAc modification). Moreover, in chronic hyperglycaemia, O-GlcNAc modifications of Sp1, p53 and NFkappaB participate in glucotoxicity, resulting in cardiovascular and renal alterations. The recent discovery by two independent groups that FoxO1 is regulated by O-GlcNAc modification provides a potential mechanism by which hyperglycaemia promotes gluconeogenesis and worsening of glucose intolerance, opening new research perspectives in the field.

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