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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2009 Apr;41(2):187-93. doi: 10.1007/s10863-009-9207-9.

Hexokinase-mitochondrial interaction in cardiac tissue: implications for cardiac glucose uptake, the 18FDG lumped constant and cardiac protection.

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Division of Imaging Sciences, King's College London, The Rayne Institute, St. Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Rd, London, SE1 7EH, UK.


The hexokinases are fundamental regulators of cardiac glucose uptake; by phosphorylating free intracellular glucose, they maintain the concentration gradient driving myocardial extraction of glucose from the bloodstream. Hexokinases are highly regulated proteins, subject to activation by insulin, hypoxia or ischaemia, and inhibition by their enzymatic product glucose-6-phosphate. In vitro and in many non-cardiac cell types, hexokinases have been shown to bind to the mitochondria, both increasing their phosphorylative capacity, and having a putative role in the anti-apoptotic function of protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt. Whether hexokinase-mitochondrial interaction is a dynamic and responsive process in the heart has been difficult to prove, but there is growing evidence that this association does indeed increase in response to insulin stimulation or ischaemia. In this review I discuss the relevance of hexokinase-mitochondrial interaction to cardiac glycolytic control, our interpretation of (18)FDG cardiac PET scans, and its possible role in protecting the myocardium from ischaemic injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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