Glucokinase (GCK) mediates hepatic glucose uptake during hyperglycemia and is crucial for the regulation of glucose-responsive glycolysis genes. Mutations in GCK are responsible for maturity-onset diabetes of the young, and glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) , the regulator of hepatic GCK, is also a diabetes susceptibility locus. Recently in in vivo experiments, we used hepatic lactate export as a surrogate for GCK activity, which was a measure of “glucose effectiveness.” We hypothesized that in vitro GCK and GKRP suppression in hepatocytes promotes a reduction in lactate and pyruvate export from the liver. We used cryopreserved canine hepatocytes and knocked down GCK and GKRP via lipid delivery of siRNA. A control group did not receive siRNA. We measured lactate dehydrogenase D (LDHD) and pyruvate kinase (PK) gene expression and lactate and pyruvate release into the medium 24 and 48 h after siRNA delivery. Selective blocking of GCK and GKRP did not change cell proliferation but reduced the expression of these genes by 90% and 85%, respectively (P<0.0vs. controls; n=4) . GCK and GKRP knockdown reduced LDHD by 71% and 74%, respectively (P<0.001) ; similarly, PK was reduced by 84% and 82%, respectively (P<0.001) . Lactate exported into the medium was reduced by 36% (P<0.001) and 26% (P<0.05) by GCK and GKRP siRNA, respectively, after 48 h of hepatocyte culture. However, pyruvate was reduced by 17% only after 48 h culture of GCK siRNA (P<0.05) . Thus, we showed that direct suppression of GCK and GKRP genes by siRNA in vitro affects glucose-responsive glycolysis genes, consequently reducing lactate export which can be used as a surrogate for reduced glucokinase activity in hepatocytes. The use of antisense oligonucleotides or CRISPR gene-editing methods in animals will be useful methods to study the glucose-lactate relationship in vivo and will evaluate the role of glucose effectiveness in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.


M.Kabir: None. M.Ader: None. R.N.Bergman: Consultant; Fractyl Health, Inc., Novo Nordisk, Research Support; AstraZeneca, Janssen Research & Development, LLC.


National Institutes of Health R01- DK027619-28

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