Glucose usage by soluble fractions of cell extracts from two insulin-producing cell lines, RINm5F and HIT, was investigated. Analysis of enzyme activities indicated that glucose phosphorylation and phosphofructokinase are likely to be the rate-limiting steps of glycolysis in both RINm5F and HIT cell extracts. RINm5F extracts, which lack glucokinase, exhibited relatively flat concentration-dependency curves of glucose usage and showed substantial inhibition of hexokinase. HIT cell extracts, which contain glucokinase but lack hexokinase, exhibited sigmoidal concentration-dependency curves of glucose usage,reflecting almost fully expressed glucokinase activity. A reconstituted system prepared from RINm5F and HIT cell extracts exhibited a composite concentration-dependency curve of glucose usage and showed substantial inhibition of hexokinase and almost fully expressed glucokinase. However, conditions that activate phosphofructokinase, such as addition of ammonium sulfate or fructose 2,6-bisphosphate or alkalization, removed the inhibition of hexokinase without noticeably affecting the glucokinase component of usage. Results obtained with a reconstituted system containing RINm5F cell extract and purified glucokinase were consistent with these findings. The data presented here indicate that this reconstituted cell-free system serves as a valid model for the study of aspects of glycolytic control in the islet. This model illustrates the preeminent role of glucokinase in the control of glycolysis, consistent with its glucose-sensor function in the islet. In addition, these studies help to define the contribution of phosphofructokinase to the control of glycolysis and the mechanism whereby changes in phosphofructokinase activity could modulate, viachanges in the glucose 6-phosphate concentration, the activity of hexokinase and hence the net glycolyticflux.

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