Previous studies identified melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B), islet-specific glucose 6 phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (G6PC2), glucokinase (GCK) and glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) as candidate genes for type 2 diabetes (T2D) acting through elevated fasting plasma glucose (FPG). We examined the associations of the reported common variants of these genes with T2D and glucose homeostasis in three independent Chinese cohorts.
Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), MTNR1B rs10830963, G6PC2 rs16856187 and rs478333, GCK rs1799884 and GCKR rs780094, were genotyped in 1644 controls (583 adults and 1061 adolescents) and 1342 T2D patients. The G-allele of MTNR1B rs10830963 and the C-alleles of both G6PC2 rs16856187 and rs478333 were associated with higher FPG (0.0034
Common variants of MTNR1B, G6PC2 and GCK are associated with elevated FPG and impaired insulin secretion, both individually and jointly, suggesting that these risk alleles may precipitate or perpetuate hyperglycemia in predisposed individuals.
OBJECTIVE— Hepatic glucokinase (GCK) is a key regulator of glucose storage and disposal in the liver, where its activity is competitively modulated, with respect to glucose, by binding to glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) in the presence of fructose 6-phosphate. Genome-wide association studies for type 2 diabetes identified GCKR as a potential locus for modulating triglyceride levels. We evaluated, in a general French population, the contribution of the GCKR rs1260326-P446L polymorphism to quantitative metabolic parameters and to dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia risk.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS— Genotype effects of rs1260326 were studied in 4,833 participants from the prospective DESIR (Data from an Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance syndrome) cohort both at inclusion and using the measurements at follow-up.
RESULTS— The minor T-allele of rs1260326 was strongly associated with lower fasting glucose (−1.43% per T-allele; P = 8 × 10−13) and fasting insulin levels (−4.23%; P = 3 × 10−7), lower homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index (−5.69%; P = 1 × 10−8), and, conversely, higher triglyceride levels (3.41%; P = 1 × 10−4) during the 9-year study. These effects relate to a lower risk of hyperglycemia (odds ratio [OR] 0.79 [95% CI 0.70–0.88]; P = 4 × 10−5) and of incident cases during the study (hazard ratio [HR] 0.83 [0.74–0.95]; P = 0.005). Moreover, an additive effect of GCKR rs1260326(T) and GCK (−30G) alleles conferred lower fasting glycemia (P = 1 × 10−13), insulinemia (P = 5 × 10−6), and hyperglycemia risk (P = 1 × 10−6).
CONCLUSIONS— GCKR-L446 carriers are protected against type 2 diabetes despite higher triglyceride levels and risk of dyslipidemia, which suggests a potential molecular mechanism by which these two components of the metabolic syndrome can be dissociated.
Variants in gene encoding glucokinase regulator protein (GCKR) were found to have converse effects on triglycerides and glucose metabolic traits. We aimed to investigate the influence of GCKR variants for triglycerides and glucose metabolic traits in Chinese children and adults.
Methods and Results
We genotyped two GCKR variants rs1260326 and rs1260333 in children and adults, and analyzed the association between two variants and triglycerides, glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR using linear regression model, and estimated the effect on insulin resistance using logistic regression model. Rs1260326 and rs1260333 associated with increased triglycerides in children and adults (p<0.05). In children, both variants significantly reduced insulin (p<0.05. for rs1260326, β = −0.07; for rs1260333, β = −0.07) and HOMA-IR (p<0.05. for rs1260326, β = −0.03; for rs1260333, β = −0.03). There were significant associations between two variants and insulin resistance for children. Under co-dominant model, for CT vs. CC, OR is 0.83 (95%CI 0.69–1.00) for rs1260326, and 0.83 (95%CI 0.68–1.00) for rs1260333; for TT vs. CC, OR is 0.72 (95%CI 0.58–0.88) for rs1260326, and 0.72 (95%CI 0.58–0.89) for rs1260333. Under allele model, for allele T vs. C, the ORs are 0.85 (95%CI 0.76–0.94) and 0.85 (95%CI 0.76–0.94) for rs1260326 and rs1260333, respectively).
Our study confirmed the associations between GCKR variants and triglycerides in Chinese children and adults. Triglycerides-increasing alleles of GCKR variants reduce insulin and HOMA-IR index, and protect from insulin resistance in children. Our results suggested GCKR has an effect on development of insulin resistance in Chinese children.
OBJECTIVE—Using the genome-wide association approach, we recently identified the glucokinase regulatory protein gene (GCKR, rs780094) region as a novel quantitative trait locus for plasma triglyceride concentration in Europeans. Here, we sought to study the association of GCKR variants with metabolic phenotypes, including measures of glucose homeostasis, to evaluate the GCKR locus in samples of non-European ancestry and to fine- map across the associated genomic interval.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We performed association studies in 12 independent cohorts comprising >45,000 individuals representing several ancestral groups (whites from Northern and Southern Europe, whites from the U.S., African Americans from the U.S., Hispanics of Caribbean origin, and Chinese, Malays, and Asian Indians from Singapore). We conducted genetic fine-mapping across the ∼417-kb region of linkage disequilibrium spanning GCKR and 16 other genes on chromosome 2p23 by imputing untyped HapMap single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genotyping 104 SNPs across the associated genomic interval.
RESULTS—We provide comprehensive evidence that GCKR rs780094 is associated with opposite effects on fasting plasma triglyceride (Pmeta = 3 × 10−56) and glucose (Pmeta = 1 × 10−13) concentrations. In addition, we confirmed recent reports that the same SNP is associated with C-reactive protein (CRP) level (P = 5 × 10−5). Both fine-mapping approaches revealed a common missense GCKR variant (rs1260326, Pro446Leu, 34% frequency, r2 = 0.93 with rs780094) as the strongest association signal in the region.
CONCLUSIONS—These findings point to a molecular mechanism in humans by which higher triglycerides and CRP can be coupled with lower plasma glucose concentrations and position GCKR in central pathways regulating both hepatic triglyceride and glucose metabolism.
Glucokinase Regulatory Protein (GCKR) plays a central role regulating both hepatic triglyceride and glucose metabolism. Fatty acids are key metabolic regulators, which interact with genetic factors and influence glucose metabolism and other metabolic traits. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) have been of considerable interest, due to their potential to reduce metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk.
To examine whether genetic variability at the GCKR gene locus was associated with the degree of insulin resistance, plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and n-3 PUFA in MetS subjects.
Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), HOMA-B, plasma concentrations of C-peptide, CRP, fatty acid composition and the GCKR rs1260326-P446L polymorphism, were determined in a cross-sectional analysis of 379 subjects with MetS participating in the LIPGENE dietary cohort.
Among subjects with n-3 PUFA levels below the population median, carriers of the common C/C genotype had higher plasma concentrations of fasting insulin (P = 0.019), C-peptide (P = 0.004), HOMA-IR (P = 0.008) and CRP (P = 0.032) as compared with subjects carrying the minor T-allele (Leu446). In contrast, homozygous C/C carriers with n-3 PUFA levels above the median showed lower plasma concentrations of fasting insulin, peptide C, HOMA-IR and CRP, as compared with individuals with the T-allele.
We have demonstrated a significant interaction between the GCKR rs1260326-P446L polymorphism and plasma n-3 PUFA levels modulating insulin resistance and inflammatory markers in MetS subjects. Further studies are needed to confirm this gene-diet interaction in the general population and whether targeted dietary recommendations can prevent MetS in genetically susceptible individuals.
Several studies have shown that variants in the glucokinase regulatory protein gene (GCKR) were associated with type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. The purpose of this study was to examine whether tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the GCKR region were associated with type 2 diabetes and related traits in a Han Chinese population and to identify the potential mechanisms underlying these associations.
We investigated the association of polymorphisms in the GCKR gene with type 2 diabetes by employing a case-control study design (1118 cases and 1161 controls). Four tag SNPs (rs8179206, rs2293572, rs3817588 and rs780094) with pairwise r2 > 0.8 and minor allele frequency > 0.05 across the GCKR gene and its flanking regions were studied and haplotypes were constructed. Genotyping was performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy using a MassARRAY platform.
The G alleles of GCKR rs3817588 and rs780094 were associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes after adjustment for year of birth, sex and BMI (OR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.08-1.43, p = 0.002 and OR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.07-1.38, p = 0.002, respectively). In the non-diabetic controls, the GG carriers of rs3817588 and rs780094 were nominally associated with a lower plasma triglyceride level compared to the AA carriers after adjustment for year of birth, sex and BMI (p for trend = 0.00004 and 0.03, respectively). Furthermore, the association of rs3817588 with plasma triglyceride level was still significant after correcting for multiple testing.
The rs3817588 A/G polymorphism of the GCKR gene was associated with type 2 diabetes and plasma triglyceride level in the Han Chinese population.
Recent studies revealed that glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) variants (rs780094 and rs1260326) are associated with serum triglycerides and plasma glucose levels. Here we analyzed primarily the association of these two variants with the lipid profile and plasma glucose levels in Hungarian subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome; and also correlated the genotypes with the carotid intima-media thickness records.
A total of 321 type 2 diabetic patients, 455 metabolic syndrome patients, and 172 healthy controls were genotyped by PCR-RFLP.
Both GCKR variants were found to associate with serum triglycerides and with fasting plasma glucose. However, significant association with the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome could not be observed. Analyzing the records of the patients, a positive association of prevalence the GCKR homozygous functional variants and carotid intima-media thickness was found in the metabolic syndrome patients.
Our results support that rs780094 and rs1260326 functional variants of the GCKR gene are inversely associated with serum triglycerides and fasting plasma glucose levels, as it was already reported for diabetic and metabolic syndrome patients in some other populations. Besides this positive replication, as a novel feature, our preliminary findings also suggest a cardiovascular risk role of the GCKR minor allele carriage based on the carotid intima-media thickness association.
Postprandial triglyceridemia is an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, most of the genes that influence postprandial triglyceridemia are not known. We evaluated whether a common nonsynonymous SNP rs1260326/P446L in the glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) gene influenced variation in the postprandial lipid response after a high-fat challenge in seven hundred and seventy participants in the Amish HAPI Heart Study who underwent an oral high-fat challenge and had blood samples taken in the fasting state and during the postprandial phase at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 hours. We found that the minor T allele at rs1260326 was associated with significantly higher fasting TG levels after adjusting for age, sex, and family structure (Pa = 0.06 for additive model, and Pr=0.0003 for recessive model). During the fat challenge, the T allele was associated with significantly higher maximum TG level (Pa = 0.006), incremental maximum TG level (Pa = 0.006), TG area under the curve (Pa = 0.02) and incremental TG area under the curve (Pa = 0.03). Our data indicate that the rs1260326 T allele of GCKR is associated with both higher fasting levels of TG as well as the postprandial TG response, which may result in higher atherogenic risk.
GCKR; polymorphism; postprandial; lipid
Translation of genetic association signals into molecular mechanisms for diabetes has been slow. The glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) P446L variant, associated with inverse modulation of glucose- and lipid-related traits, has been shown to alter the kinetics of glucokinase (GCK) inhibition. As GCK inhibition is associated with nuclear sequestration, we aimed to determine whether this variant also alters the direct interaction between GKRP and GCK and their intra-cellular localization.
Fluorescently-tagged rat and human wild-type or P446L-GKRP and GCK were transiently transfected into HeLa cells and mouse primary hepatocytes. Whole-cell and nuclear fluorescence was quantified in individual cells exposed to low (5.5mmol/l) or high (25mmol/l) glucose conditions. Interaction between GCK and GKRP were measured by sensitized emission-based FRET efficiency (FRETN).
P446L-GKRP had a decreased degree of nuclear localization, ability to sequester GCK, and direct interaction with GCK as measured by FRET compared to WT-GKRP. Decreased interaction was observed between WT-GKRP and GCK at high (25mmol/l) compared to low glucose (5.5mmol/l) but not between P446L-GKRP and GCK. Rat WT-GKRP and P446L-GKRP behaved quite differently: both variants responded to high glucose by diminished sequestration of GCK but showed no effect of the P446L variant on nuclear localization or GCK sequestration.
Our study suggests the common human GKRP-P446L variant results in elevated hepatic glucose uptake and disposal by increasing active, cytosolic GCK. This would increase hepatic lipid biosynthesis but decrease fasting plasma glucose concentrations and provides a potential mechanism for the protective effect of this allele on type 2 diabetes risk.
Genetics; association study; molecular mechanism; glucokinase
Variation in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) within the normal range is a known risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Several reports have shown that genetic variation in the genes for glucokinase (GCK), glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), islet-specific glucose 6 phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (G6PC2) and melatonin receptor type 1B (MTNR1B) is associated with FPG. In this study we examined whether these loci also contribute to type 2 diabetes susceptibility.
A random selection from the Dutch New Hoorn Study was used for replication of the association with FGP (2,361 non-diabetic participants). For the genetic association study we extended the study sample with 2,628 participants with type 2 diabetes. Risk allele counting was used to calculate a four-gene risk allele score for each individual.
Variants of the GCK, G6PC2 and MTNR1B genes but not GCKR were associated with FPG (all, p ≤ 0.001; GCKR, p = 0.23). Combining these four genes in a risk allele score resulted in an increase of 0.05 mmol/l (0.04–0.07) per additional risk allele (p = 2 × 10−13). Furthermore, participants with less than three or more than five risk alleles showed significantly different type 2 diabetes susceptibility compared with the most common group with four risk alleles (OR 0.77 [0.65–0.93], p = 0.005 and OR 2.05 [1.50–2.80], p = 4 × 10−6 respectively). The age at diagnosis was also significantly associated with the number of risk alleles (p = 0.009).
A combined risk allele score for single-nucleotide polymorphisms in four known FPG loci is significantly associated with FPG and HbA1c in a Dutch population-based sample of non-diabetic participants. Carriers of low or high numbers of risk alleles show significantly different risks for type 2 diabetes compared with the reference group.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-009-1413-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Fasting plasma glucose; Genetics; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Type 2 diabetes
The induction of hepatic glucose 6-phosphatase (G6pc) by glucose presents a paradox of glucose-induced glucose intolerance. We tested whether glucose regulation of liver gene expression is geared toward intracellular homeostasis.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The effect of glucose-induced accumulation of phosphorylated intermediates on expression of glucokinase (Gck) and its regulator Gckr was determined in hepatocytes. Cell ATP and uric acid production were measured as indices of cell phosphate homeostasis.
Accumulation of phosphorylated intermediates in hepatocytes incubated at elevated glucose induced rapid and inverse changes in Gck (repression) and Gckr (induction) mRNA concomitantly with induction of G6pc, but had slower effects on the Gckr-to-Gck protein ratio. Dynamic metabolic labeling in mice and liver proteome analysis confirmed that Gckr and Gck are low-turnover proteins. Involvement of Max-like protein X in glucose-mediated Gck-repression was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Elevation of the Gck-to-Gckr ratio in hepatocytes was associated with glucose-dependent ATP depletion and elevated urate production confirming compromised phosphate homeostasis.
The lowering by glucose of the Gck-to-Gckr ratio provides a potential explanation for the impaired hepatic glucose uptake in diabetes. Elevated uric acid production at an elevated Gck-to-Gckr ratio supports a role for glucose regulation of gene expression in hepatic phosphate homeostasis.
The glucokinase regulatory protein encoded by GCKR plays an important role in glucose metabolism and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1260326 (P446L) in the gene has been associated with several age-related biomarkers, including triglycerides, glucose, insulin and apolipoproteins. However, associations between SNPs in the gene and other ageing phenotypes such as cognitive and physical capability have not been reported.
As part of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research programme, men and women from five UK cohorts aged between 44 and 90+ years were genotyped for rs1260326. Meta-analysis was used to pool within-study genotypic associations between the SNP and several age-related phenotypes, including body mass index (BMI), blood lipid levels, lung function, and cognitive and physical capability.
We confirm the associations between the minor allele of the SNP and higher triglycerides and lower glucose levels. We also observed a triglyceride-independent association between the minor allele and lower BMI (pooled beta on z-score = −0.04, p-value = 0.0001, n = 16,251). Furthermore, there was some evidence for gene-environment interactions, including physical activity attenuating the effects on triglycerides. However, no associations were observed with measures of cognitive and physical capability.
Findings from middle-aged to older adults confirm associations between rs1260326 GCKR and triglycerides and glucose, suggest possible gene-environment interactions, but do not provide evidence that its relevance extends to cognitive and physical capability.
Recently the SNP identified as rs1260326, in the glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) was associated with hypertriglyceridemia in adults. Since accumulation of triglycerides in hepatocytes represents the hallmark of the steatosis, we aimed to investigate whether this variant might be associated with fatty liver (hepatic fat content, HFF%). Moreover, since recently rs738409 in the PNPLA3 and rs2854116 in the APOC3 were associated with fatty liver recently, we explored how the GCKR SNP and these two variants jointly influence hepatosteatosis.
Methods and Results
We studied 455 obese children and adolescents (181 Caucasians, 139 African Americans and 135 Hispanics). All underwent an OGTT and fasting lipoprotein subclasses measurement by proton NMR. A subset of 142 children underwent a fast gradient MRI to measure the HFF%.
The rs1260326 was associated with elevated triglycerides (Caucasians p=0.00014; African Americans p=0.00417) large VLDL (Caucasians p=0.001; African Americans p=0.03) and with fatty liver (Caucasians p= 0.034; African Americans p= 0.00002; and Hispanics p= 0.016). The PNPLA3, but not the APOC3 rs2854116 SNP, was associated with fatty liver but not with triglycerides levels. There was a joint effect between the PNPLA3 and GCKR SNPs, explaining 32% of HFF% variance Caucasians (p=0.00161), 39.0% in African Americans (p=0.00000496), and 15% in Hispanics (p=0.00342).
The rs1260326 in GCKR is associated with hepatic fat accumulation along with large VLDL, and triglycerides levels. GCKR and PNPLA3 act together to convey susceptibility to fatty liver in obese youths.
GCKR; PNPLA3; SNPs; obesity; youths
Background and Aims
Variant in glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), associated with lipid and glucose traits, has been suggested to affect fatty liver infiltration. We aimed to assess whether GCKR rs780094 C→T SNP influences the expression of steatosis, lobular inflammation and fibrosis in NAFLD patients, after correction for PNPLA3 genotype.
In 366 consecutive NAFLD patients (197 from Sicily, and 169 from center/northern Italy), we assessed anthropometric, biochemical and metabolic features; liver biopsy was scored according to Kleiner. PNPLA3 rs738409 C>G and GCKR rs780094 C>T single nucleotide polymorphisms were also assessed.
At multivariate logistic regression analysis in the entire NAFLD cohort, the presence of significant liver fibrosis (>F1) was independently linked to high HOMA (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.23, p = 0.02), NAFLD activity score ≥5 (OR 4.09, 95% CI 2.45–6.81, p<0.001), and GCKR C>T SNP (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.43–2.98, p<0.001). Similar results were observed considering separately the two different NAFLD cohorts. GCKR C>T SNP was also associated with higher serum triglycerides (ANOVA, p = 0.02) in the entire cohort.
In patients with NAFLD, GCKR rs780094 C>T is associated with the severity of liver fibrosis and with higher serum triglyceride levels.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have replicably identified multiple loci associated with population-based plasma lipid concentrations1-5. Common genetic variants at these loci together explain <10% of the total variation of each lipid trait4,5. Rare variants of individually large effect may contribute additionally to the “missing heritability” of lipid traits6,7, however it remains to be shown to what extent rare variants will affect lipid phenotypes. Here, we demonstrate a significant accumulation of rare variants in GWAS-identified genes in patients with an extreme phenotype of abnormal plasma triglyceride (TG) metabolism. A GWAS of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) patients revealed that common variants in APOA5, GCKR, LPL and APOB genes were associated with the HTG phenotype at genome-wide significance. We subsequently resequenced protein coding regions of these genes and found a significant burden of 154 rare missense or nonsense variants in 438 HTG patients, in contrast to 53 variants in 327 controls (P=6.2X10-8); this corresponds to a carrier frequency of 28.1% of HTG patients and 15.3% of controls (P=2.6X10-5). Many rare variants were predicted in silico to have compromised function; additionally some had previously demonstrated dysfunctionality in vitro. Rare variants in these 4 genes explained 1.1% of total variation in HTG diagnoses. Our study demonstrates a marked mutation skew that likely contributes to disease pathophysiology in patients with HTG.
Recent genetic and clinical evidence has implicated glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and related traits. The primary role of GKRP is to bind and inhibit hepatic glucokinase (GCK), a critically important protein in human health and disease that exerts a significant degree of control over glucose metabolism. As activation of GCK has been associated with improved glucose tolerance, perturbation of the GCK-GKRP interaction represents a potential therapeutic target for pharmacological modulation. Recent structural and kinetic advances are beginning to provide insight into the interaction of these two proteins. However, tools to comprehensively assess the GCK-GKRP interaction, particularly in the context of small molecules, would be a valuable resource. We therefore developed three robust and miniaturized assays for assessing the interaction between recombinant human GCK and GKRP: an HTRF assay, a diaphorase-coupled assay, and a luciferase-coupled assay. The assays are complementary, featuring distinct mechanisms of detection (luminescence, fluorescence, FRET). Two assays rely on GCK enzyme activity modulation by GKRP while the FRET-based assay measures the GCK-GKRP protein-protein interaction independent of GCK enzymatic substrates and activity. All three assays are scalable to low volumes in 1536-well plate format, with robust Z’ factors (>0.7). Finally, as GKRP sequesters GCK in the hepatocyte nucleus at low glucose concentrations, we explored cellular models of GCK localization and translocation. Previous findings from freshly isolated rat hepatocytes were confirmed in cryopreserved rat hepatocytes, and we further extended this study to cryopreserved human hepatocytes. Consistent with previous reports, there were several key differences between the rat and human systems, with our results suggesting that human hepatocytes can be used to interrogate GCK translocation in response to small molecules. The assay panel developed here should help direct future investigation of the GCK-GKRP interaction in these or other physiologically relevant human systems.
In genome-wide association studies, performed mostly in nondiabetic individuals, genetic variability of glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) affects type 2 diabetes-related phenotypes, kidney function, and risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We tested whether GCKR variability affects type 2 diabetes or kidney-related phenotypes in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In 509 GAD-negative patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, we 1) genotyped six single nucleotide polymorphisms in GCKR genomic region: rs6717980, rs1049817, rs6547626, rs780094, rs2384628, and rs8731; 2) assessed clinical phenotypes, insulin sensitivity by the euglycemic insulin clamp, and β-cell function by state-of-the-art modeling of glucose/C-peptide curves during an oral glucose tolerance test; and 3) estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula.
The major alleles of rs6717980 and rs2384628 were associated with reduced β-cell function (P < 0.05), with mutual additive effects of each variant (P < 0.01). The minor alleles of rs1049817 and rs6547626 and the major allele of rs780094 were associated with reduced eGFR according to a recessive model (P < 0.03), but with no mutual additive effects of the variants. Additional associations were found between rs780094 and 2-h plasma glucose (P < 0.05) and rs8731 and insulin sensitivity (P < 0.05) and triglycerides (P < 0.05).
Our findings are compatible with the idea that GCKR variability may play a pathogenetic role in both type 2 diabetes and CKD. Genotyping GCKR in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes might help in identifying patients at high risk for metabolic derangements or CKD.
Glucokinase activity is a major determinant of hepatic glucose metabolism and blood glucose homeostasis. Liver glucokinase activity is regulated acutely by adaptive translocation between the nucleus and the cytoplasm through binding and dissociation from its regulatory protein (GKRP) in the nucleus. Whilst the effect of glucose on this mechanism is well established, the role of hormones in regulating glucokinase location and its interaction with binding proteins remains unsettled. Here we show that treatment of rat hepatocytes with 25 mM glucose caused decreased binding of glucokinase to GKRP, translocation from the nucleus and increased binding to 6-phosphofructo 2-kinase/fructose 2,6 bisphosphatase-2 (PFK2/FBPase2) in the cytoplasm. Glucagon caused dissociation of glucokinase from PFK2/FBPase2, concomitant with phosphorylation of PFK2/FBPase2 on Ser-32, uptake of glucokinase into the nucleus and increased interaction with GKRP. Two novel glucagon receptor antagonists attenuated the action of glucagon. This establishes an unequivocal role for hormonal control of glucokinase translocation. Given that glucagon excess contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetes, glucagon may play a role in the defect in glucokinase translocation and activity evident in animal models and human diabetes.
•Hepatic glucokinase activity is acutely regulated by its cellular location.•High glucose translocates glucokinase from nuclear GKRP to cytoplasmic PFK2/FBPase2.•Here we show that glucagon counteracts glucokinase translocation by elevated glucose.•This effect of glucagon is reversed by novel glucagon receptor antagonists.•This study supports a role for glucagon in regulating glucokinase translocation.
BiFC, bimolecular fluorescence complementation; cAMP, cyclic adenosine monophosphate; EPAC, exchange protein directly activated by cAMP; F26P2, fructose 2,6-bisphosphate; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GK, glucokinase; GKRP, glucokinase regulatory protein; G6pc, glucose 6-phosphatase; mRFP, red fluorescent protein; N/C ratio, nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio; PepO, desHis1Pro4Glu9-glucagon; PepR, desHis1Pro4Glu9Lys12(γ-glutamyl PAL)glucagon-amide; Phos-a, glycogen phosphorylase; PFK2/FBPase2, 6-phosphofructo 2-kinase/fructose 2,6-bisphosphatase-2; PKA, protein kinase A; PLA, proximity ligation assay; YFP, yellow fluorescent protein; Glucokinase; Glucokinase regulatory protein; 6-phosphofructo 2-kinase/fructose 2,6 bisphosphatase-2; Hepatocyte; Glucagon
The minor T-allele of rs780094 in the glucokinase regulator gene (GCKR) associates with a number of metabolic traits including higher triglyceride levels and improved glycemic regulation in study populations of mostly European ancestry. Using data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, we sought to replicate these findings, examine them in a large population-based sample of African American study participants, and to investigate independent associations with other metabolic traits in order to determine if variation in GKCR contributes to their observed clustering. In addition, we examined the association of rs780094 with incident diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke over up mean follow-up times of 8, 15, and 15 years, respectively.
Research Design and Methods
Race-stratified analyses were conducted among 10,929 white and 3,960 black participants aged 45–64 at baseline assuming an additive genetic model and using linear and logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models.
Previous findings replicated among white participants in multivariable adjusted models: the T-allele of rs780094 was associated with lower fasting glucose (p = 10−7) and insulin levels (p = 10−6), lower insulin resistance (HOMA-IR, p = 10−9), less prevalent diabetes (p = 10−6), and higher CRP (p = 10−8), 2-h postprandial glucose (OGTT, p = 10−6), and triglyceride levels (p = 10−31). Moreover, the T-allele was independently associated with higher HDL cholesterol levels (p = 0.022), metabolic syndrome prevalence (p = 0.043), and lower beta-cell function measured as HOMA-B (p = 0.011). Among black participants, the T-allele was associated only with higher triglyceride levels (p = 0.004) and lower insulin levels (p = 0.002) and HOMA-IR (p = 0.013). Prospectively, the T-allele was associated with reduced incidence of diabetes (p = 10−4) among white participants, but not with incidence of CHD or stroke.
Our findings indicate rs780094 has independent associations with multiple metabolic traits as well as incident diabetes, but not incident CHD or stroke. The magnitude of association between the SNP and most traits was of lower magnitude among African American compared to white participants.
Mutations in the GCK and HNF1A genes are the most common cause of the monogenic forms of diabetes known as ‘maturity-onset diabetes of the young’. GCK encodes the glucokinase enzyme, which acts as the pancreatic glucose sensor, and mutations result in stable, mild fasting hyperglycaemia. A progressive insulin secretory defect is seen in patients with mutations in the HNF1A and HNF4A genes encoding the transcription factors hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 alpha and -4 alpha. A molecular genetic diagnosis often changes management, since patients with GCK mutations rarely require pharmacological treatment and HNF1A/4A mutation carriers are sensitive to sulfonylureas. These monogenic forms of diabetes are often misdiagnosed as type 1 or 2 diabetes. Best practice guidelines for genetic testing were developed to guide testing and reporting of results.
A workshop was held to discuss clinical criteria for testing and the interpretation of molecular genetic test results. The participants included 22 clinicians and scientists from 13 countries. Draft best practice guidelines were formulated and edited using an online tool (http://www.coventi.com).
An agreed set of clinical criteria were defined for the testing of babies, children and adults for GCK, HNF1A and HNF4A mutations. Reporting scenarios were discussed and consensus statements produced.
Best practice guidelines have been established for monogenic forms of diabetes caused by mutations in the GCK, HNF1A and HNF4A genes. The guidelines include both diagnostic and predictive genetic tests and interpretation of the results.
For members of the EMQN MODY group see the Appendix. For details of their affiliations, see the Electronic supplementary material which is available to authorised users via the online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-008-0942-y).
Best practice; GCK; HNF1A; HNF4A; Maturity-onset diabetes of the young; MODY; Monogenic diabetes
Glucokinase (GCK) acts as a component of the “glucose sensor” in pancreatic β-cells and possibly in other tissues, including the brain. However, >99% of GCK in the body is located in the liver, where it serves as a “gatekeeper”, determining the rate of hepatic glucose phosphorylation. Mutations in GCK are a cause of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), and GCKR, the regulator of GCK in the liver, is a diabetes susceptibility locus. In addition, several GCK activators are being studied as potential regulators of blood glucose. The ability to estimate liver GCK activity in vivo for genetic and pharmacologic studies may provide important physiologic insights into the regulation of hepatic glucose metabolism.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Here we introduce a simple, linear, two-compartment kinetic model that exploits lactate and glucose kinetics observed during the frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIGT) to estimate liver GCK activity (KGK), glycolysis (K12), and whole body fractional lactate clearance (K01).
To test our working model of lactate, we used cross-sectional FSIGT data on 142 nondiabetic individuals chosen at random from the Finland–United States Investigation of NIDDM Genetics study cohort. Parameters KGK, K12, and K01 were precisely estimated. Median model parameter estimates were consistent with previously published values.
This novel model of lactate kinetics extends the utility of the FSIGT protocol beyond whole-body glucose homeostasis by providing estimates for indices pertaining to hepatic glucose metabolism, including hepatic GCK activity and glycolysis rate.