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J Clin Invest. 1998 May 1;101(9):1870-5.

Fatty acid-induced beta cell hypersensitivity to glucose. Increased phosphofructokinase activity and lowered glucose-6-phosphate content.

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Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes Mellitus, and Metabolism, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA.


Diabetic states are characterized by a raised serum/islet level of long chain fatty acids and a lowered ED50 for glucose-induced insulin secretion. Prolonged culture (> 6 h) of islets with long chain fatty acids replicates the basal insulin hypersecretion. We examined this effect in rat islets cultured for 24 h with 0.25 mM oleate. Insulin secretion at 2.8 mM glucose was doubled in combination with a 60% lowered islet content of glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). Investigation of the lowered G6P showed: (a) increased glucose usage from 0.5 to 100 mM glucose with identical values measured by [2-3H]glucose and [5-3H]glucose, (c) indicating little glucose- 6-phosphatase activity, (b) unchanged low pentose phosphate shunt activity, (c) 50% increased phosphofructokinase (PFK) Vmax, (d) a normal ATP/ADP ratio, and (e) unchanged fructose 2,6 bisphosphate content. Triacsin C, an inhibitor of fatty acyl-CoA synthetase, prevented the increase in PFK activity and the lowered G6P content. These results suggest that long chain acyl-CoA mediates the rise in PFK activity, which in turn lowers the G6P level. We speculate that the inhibition of hexokinase by G6P is thus attenuated, thereby causing the basal insulin hypersecretion.

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