Metabolic fate of glucose and candidate signaling and excess-fuel detoxification pathways in pancreatic β-cells

Yves Mugabo, Shangang Zhao, Julien Lamontagne, Anfal Al-Mass, Marie Line Peyot, Barbara E. Corkey, Erik Joly, S. R.Murthy Madiraju, Marc Prentki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Glucose metabolism promotes insulin secretion in β-cells via metabolic coupling factors that are incompletely defined. Moreover, chronically elevated glucose causes β-cell dysfunction, but little is known about how cells handle excess fuels to avoid toxicity. Here we sought to determine which among the candidate pathways and coupling factors best correlates with glucosestimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), define the fate of glucose in the β-cell, and identify pathways possibly involved in excessfuel detoxification. We exposed isolated rat islets for 1 h to increasing glucose concentrations and measured various pathways and metabolites. Glucose oxidation, oxygen consumption, and ATP production correlated well with GSIS and saturated at 16 mM glucose. However, glucose utilization, glycerol release, triglyceride and glycogen contents, free fatty acid (FFA) content and release, and cholesterol and cholesterol esters increased linearly up to 25 mM glucose. Besides being oxidized, glucose was mainly metabolized via glycerol production and release and lipid synthesis (particularly FFA, triglycerides, and cholesterol), whereas glycogen production was comparatively low. Using targeted metabolomics in INS-1(832/13) cells, we found that several metabolites correlated well with GSIS, in particular some Krebs cycle intermediates, malonyl-CoA, and lower ADP levels. Glucose dose-dependently increased the dihydroxyacetone phosphate/glycerol 3-phosphate ratio in INS-1(832/13) cells, indicating a more oxidized state of NAD in the cytosol upon glucose stimulation. Overall, the data support a role for accelerated oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, anaplerosis, and malonyl-CoA/lipid signaling in β-cell metabolic signaling and suggest that a decrease in ADP levels is important in GSIS. The results also suggest that excess-fuel detoxification pathways in β-cells possibly comprise glycerol and FFA formation and release extracellularly and the diversion of glucose carbons to triglycerides and cholesterol esters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7407-7422
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 5 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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