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Genome-wide association study (GWAS) data have linked the gene to variations in fasting blood glucose (FBG). encodes an islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit that forms a substrate cycle with the beta cell glucose sensor glucokinase. This cycle modulates the glucose sensitivity of insulin secretion and hence FBG. GWAS data have not linked to variations in body weight but we previously reported that female C57BL/6J -knockout (KO) mice were lighter than wild-type littermates on both a chow and high-fat diet. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of deletion on FBG and body weight in both chow-fed and high-fat-fed mice on two other genetic backgrounds. FBG was reduced in KO mice largely independent of gender, genetic background or diet. In contrast, the effect of deletion on body weight was markedly influenced by these variables. Deletion of conferred a marked protection against diet-induced obesity in male mixed genetic background mice, whereas in 129SvEv mice deletion of had no effect on body weight. deletion also reduced plasma cholesterol levels in a manner dependent on gender, genetic background and diet. An association between and plasma cholesterol was also observed in humans through electronic health record-derived phenotype analyses. These observations suggest that the action of G6PC2 on FBG is largely independent of the influences of environment, modifier genes or epigenetic events, whereas the action of G6PC2 on body weight and cholesterol are influenced by unknown variables.
© 2017 Society for Endocrinology.
The glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit 2 (G6PC2) gene encodes an islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit. G6PC2 forms a substrate cycle with glucokinase that determines the glucose sensitivity of insulin secretion. Consequently, deletion of G6pc2 lowers fasting blood glucose (FBG) without affecting fasting plasma insulin. Although chronic elevation of FBG is detrimental to health, glucocorticoids induce G6PC2 expression, suggesting that G6PC2 evolved to transiently modulate FBG under conditions of glucocorticoid-related stress. We show, using competition and mutagenesis experiments, that the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex) induces G6PC2 promoter activity through a mechanism involving displacement of the islet-enriched transcription factor MafA by the glucocorticoid receptor. The induction of G6PC2 promoter activity by Dex is modulated by a single nucleotide polymorphism, previously linked to altered FBG in humans, that affects FOXA2 binding. A 5-day repeated injection paradigm was used to examine the chronic effect of Dex on FBG and glucose tolerance in wild-type (WT) and G6pc2 knockout mice. Acute Dex treatment only induces G6pc2 expression in 129SvEv but not C57BL/6J mice, but this chronic treatment induced G6pc2 expression in both. In 6-hour fasted C57BL/6J WT mice, Dex treatment lowered FBG and improved glucose tolerance, with G6pc2 deletion exacerbating the decrease in FBG and enhancing the improvement in glucose tolerance. In contrast, in 24-hour fasted C57BL/6J WT mice, Dex treatment raised FBG but still improved glucose tolerance, with G6pc2 deletion limiting the increase in FBG and enhancing the improvement in glucose tolerance. These observations demonstrate that G6pc2 modulates the complex effects of Dex on both FBG and glucose tolerance.
The glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic 2 (G6PC2) gene is expressed specifically in pancreatic islet beta cells. Genome-wide association studies have shown that single nucleotide polymorphisms in the G6PC2 gene are associated with variations in fasting blood glucose (FBG) but not fasting plasma insulin. Molecular analyses examining the functional effects of these single nucleotide polymorphisms demonstrate that elevated G6PC2 expression is associated with elevated FBG. Studies in mice complement these genome-wide association data and show that deletion of the G6pc2 gene lowers FBG without affecting fasting plasma insulin. This suggests that, together with glucokinase, G6PC2 forms a substrate cycle that determines the glucose sensitivity of insulin secretion. Because genome-wide association studies and mouse studies demonstrate that elevated G6PC2 expression raises FBG and because chronically elevated FBG is detrimental to human health, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, it is unclear why G6PC2 evolved. We show here that the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone strongly induces human G6PC2 promoter activity and endogenous G6PC2 expression in isolated human islets. Acute treatment with dexamethasone selectively induces endogenous G6pc2 expression in 129SvEv but not C57BL/6J mouse pancreas and isolated islets. The difference is due to a single nucleotide polymorphism in the C57BL/6J G6pc2 promoter that abolishes glucocorticoid receptor binding. In 6-hour fasted, nonstressed 129SvEv mice, deletion of G6pc2 lowers FBG. In response to the stress of repeated physical restraint, which is associated with elevated plasma glucocorticoid levels, G6pc2 gene expression is induced and the difference in FBG between wild-type and knockout mice is enhanced. These data suggest that G6PC2 may have evolved to modulate FBG in response to stress.
A polymorphism located in the G6PC2 gene, which encodes an islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit, is the most important common determinant of variations in fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels in humans. Studies of G6pc2 knockout (KO) mice suggest that G6pc2 represents a negative regulator of basal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) that acts by hydrolyzing glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), thereby reducing glycolytic flux. However, this conclusion conflicts with the very low estimates for the rate of glucose cycling in pancreatic islets, as assessed using radioisotopes. We have reassessed the rate of glucose cycling in pancreatic islets using a novel stable isotope method. The data show much higher levels of glucose cycling than previously reported. In 5 mmol/L glucose, islets from C57BL/6J chow-fed mice cycled ∼16% of net glucose uptake. The cycling rate was further increased at 11 mmol/L glucose. Similar cycling rates were observed using islets from high fat-fed mice. Importantly, glucose cycling was abolished in G6pc2 KO mouse islets, confirming that G6pc2 opposes the action of the glucose sensor glucokinase by hydrolyzing G6P. The demonstration of high rates of glucose cycling in pancreatic islets explains why G6pc2 deletion enhances GSIS and why variants in G6PC2 affect FBG in humans.
© 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS - We previously identified the G6PC2 locus as a strong determinant of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and showed that a common G6PC2 intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (rs560887) and two common G6PC2 promoter SNPs (rs573225 and rs13431652) are highly associated with FPG. However, these promoter SNPs have complex effects on G6PC2 fusion gene expression, and our data suggested that only rs13431652 is a potentially causative SNP. Here we examine the effect of rs560887 on G6PC2 pre-mRNA splicing and the contribution of an additional common G6PC2 promoter SNP, rs2232316, to the association signal.
METHODS - Minigene analyses were used to characterise the effect of rs560887 on G6PC2 pre-mRNA splicing. Fusion gene and gel retardation analyses characterised the effect of rs2232316 on G6PC2 promoter activity and transcription factor binding. The genetic association of rs2232316 with FPG variation was assessed using regression adjusted for age, sex and BMI in 4,220 Europeans with normal FPG.
RESULTS - The rs560887-G allele was shown to enhance G6PC2 pre-mRNA splicing, whereas the rs2232316-A allele enhanced G6PC2 transcription by promoting Foxa2 binding. Genetic analyses provide evidence for association of the rs2232316-A allele with increased FPG (β = 0.04 mmol/l; p = 4.3 × 10(-3)) as part of the same signal as rs560887, rs573225 and rs13431652.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION - As with rs13431652, the in situ functional data with rs560887 and rs2232316 are in accord with the putative function of G6PC2 in pancreatic islets, and suggest that all three are potentially causative SNPs that contribute to the association between G6PC2 and FPG.
Elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG) is associated with increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular-associated mortality. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have linked polymorphisms in G6PC2 with variations in FBG and body fat, although not insulin sensitivity or glucose tolerance. G6PC2 encodes an islet-specific, endoplasmic reticulum-resident glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit. A combination of in situ perfused pancreas, in vitro isolated islet, and in vivo analyses were used to explore the function of G6pc2 in mice. G6pc2 deletion had little effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, whereas body fat was reduced in female G6pc2 knockout (KO) mice on both a chow and high-fat diet, observations that are all consistent with human GWAS data. G6pc2 deletion resulted in a leftward shift in the dose-response curve for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). As a consequence, under fasting conditions in which plasma insulin levels were identical, blood glucose levels were reduced in G6pc2 KO mice, again consistent with human GWAS data. Glucose-6-phosphatase activity was reduced, whereas basal cytoplasmic calcium levels were elevated in islets isolated from G6pc2 KO mice. These data suggest that G6pc2 represents a novel, negative regulator of basal GSIS that acts by hydrolyzing glucose-6-phosphate, thereby reducing glycolytic flux.
OBJECTIVE - Islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (IGRP), now known as G6PC2, is a major target of autoreactive T cells implicated in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes in both mice and humans. This study aimed to determine whether suppression of G6p2 gene expression might therefore prevent or delay disease progression.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - G6pc2(-/-) mice were generated on the NOD/ShiLtJ genetic background, and glycemia was monitored weekly up to 35 weeks of age to determine the onset and incidence of diabetes. The antigen specificity of CD8(+) T cells infiltrating islets from NOD/ShiLtJ G6pc2(+/+) and G6pc2(-/-) mice at 12 weeks was determined in parallel.
RESULTS - The absence of G6pc2 did not affect the time of onset, incidence, or sex bias of type 1 diabetes in NOD/ShiLtJ mice. Insulitis was prominent in both groups, but whereas NOD/ShiLtJ G6pc2(+/+) islets contained CD8(+) T cells reactive to the G6pc2 NRP peptide, G6pc2 NRP-reactive T cells were absent in NOD/ShiLtJ G6pc2(-/-) islets.
CONCLUSIONS - These results demonstrate that G6pc2 is an important driver for the selection and expansion of islet-reactive CD8(+) T cells infiltrating NOD/ShiLtJ islets. However, autoreactivity to G6pc2 is not essential for the emergence of autoimmune diabetes. The results remain consistent with previous studies indicating that insulin may be the primary autoimmune target, at least in NOD/ShiLtJ mice.
OBJECTIVE - Examine whether normalizing net hepatic glycogenesis restores endogenous glucose production and hepatic glucose phosphorylation in response to diabetic levels of plasma glucose and insulin in Zucker diabetic fatty rats (ZDF).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Hepatic glucose and intermediate fluxes (µmol · kg(-1) · min(-1)) were measured with and without a glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor (GPI) using [2-(3)H]glucose, [3-(3)H]glucose, and [U-(14)C]alanine in 20 h-fasted conscious ZDF and their lean littermates (ZCL) under clamp conditions designed to maintain diabetic levels of plasma glucose and insulin.
RESULTS - With infusion of GPI into ZDF (ZDF-GPI+G), compared with vehicle infused ZDF (ZDF-V), high glycogen phosphorylase a activity was decreased and low synthase I activity was increased to that of ZCL. Low net glycogenesis from plasma glucose rose to 75% of ZCL levels (4 ± 1 in ZDF-V, 18 ± 1 in ZDF-GPI+G, and 24 ± 2 in ZCL) and phosphoenolpyruvate 260% (4 ± 2 in ZDF-V, 16 ± 1 in ZDF+GPI-G, and 6 ± 2 in ZCL). High endogenous glucose production was suppressed with GPI infusion but not to that of ZCL (46 ± 4 in ZDF-V, 18 ± 4 in ZDF-GPI+G, and -8 ± 3 in ZCL). This was accompanied by reduction of the higher glucose-6-phosphatase flux (75 ± 4 in ZDF-V, 41 ± 4 in ZDF-GPI+G, and 86 ± 12 in ZCL) and no change in low glucose phosphorylation or total gluconeogenesis.
CONCLUSIONS - In the presence of hyperglycemic-hyperinsulinemia in ZDF, reduced glycogenic flux partially contributes to a lack of suppression of hepatic glucose production by failing to redirect glucose-6-phosphate flux from production of glucose to glycogen but is not responsible for a lower rate of glucose phosphorylation.
The effects of a glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor (GPI) and metformin (MT) on hepatic glucose fluxes (μmol · kg(-1) · min(-1)) in the presence of basal and 4-fold basal levels of plasma glucagon were investigated in 18-h fasted conscious dogs. Compared with the vehicle treatment, GPI infusion suppressed net hepatic glucose output (NHGO) completely (-3.8 ± 1.3 versus 9.9 ± 2.8) despite increased glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P) neogenesis from gluconeogenic precursors (8.1 ± 1.1 versus 5.5 ± 1.1). MT infusion did not alter those parameters. In response to a 4-fold rise in plasma glucagon levels, in the vehicle group, plasma glucose levels were increased 2-fold, and NHGO was increased (43.9 ± 5.7 at 10 min and 22.7 ± 3.4 at steady state) without altering G-6-P neogenesis (3.7 ± 1.5 and 5.5 ± 0.5, respectively). In the GPI group, there was no increase in NHGO due to decreased glucose-6-phosphatase flux associated with reduced G-6-P concentration. A lower G-6-P concentration was the result of increased net glycogenesis without altering G-6-P neogenesis. In the MT group, the increment in NHGO (22.2 ± 4.4 at 10 min and 12.1 ± 3.6 at steady state) was approximately half of that of the vehicle group. The lesser NHGO was associated with reduced glucose-6-phosphatase flux but a rise in G-6-P concentration and only a small incorporation of plasma glucose into glycogen. In conclusion, the inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase a activity decreases basal and glucagon-induced NHGO via redirecting glucose 6-phosphate flux from glucose toward glycogen, and MT decreases glucagon-induced NHGO by inhibiting glucose-6-phosphatase flux and thereby reducing glycogen breakdown.
OBJECTIVE - Several transcription factors are essential to pancreatic islet β-cell development, proliferation, and activity, including MafA and MafB. However, MafA and MafB are distinct from others in regard to temporal and islet cell expression pattern, with β-cells affected by MafB only during development and exclusively by MafA in the adult. Our aim was to define the functional relationship between these closely related activators to the β-cell.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - The distribution of MafA and MafB in the β-cell population was determined immunohistochemically at various developmental and perinatal stages in mice. To identify genes regulated by MafB, microarray profiling was performed on wild-type and MafB(-/-) pancreata at embryonic day 18.5, with candidates evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The potential role of MafA in the expression of verified targets was next analyzed in adult islets of a pancreas-wide MafA mutant (termed MafA(ΔPanc)).
RESULTS - MafB was produced in a larger fraction of β-cells than MafA during development and found to regulate potential effectors of glucose sensing, hormone processing, vesicle formation, and insulin secretion. Notably, expression from many of these genes was compromised in MafA(ΔPanc) islets, suggesting that MafA is required to sustain expression in adults.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results provide insight into the sequential manner by which MafA and MafB regulate islet β-cell formation and maturation.