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Alterations in mitochondrial structure and function are commonly observed in adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. In ALS, mitochondrial dysfunction impairs the efficiency of electron transport chain (ETC) activity and ATP production and leads to the accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, abnormal handling of intracellular calcium and cytochrome C release and apoptosis. The extent to which these alterations in mitochondrial functionimpair cellular operations is unclear. Therapeutic intervention based on combating these mitochondrial abnormalities have displayed variable success in mouse models of ALS and humans, as reviewed in Vandoorne et al.

Sean-Patrick Riechers, Jelena Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Tayler B. Belton, Ram P. Chakrabarty, ... Robert G. Kalb

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Glycerol-3-phosphate phosphatase operates a glycerol shunt in pancreatic β-cells that controls insulin secretion and metabolic stress

Anfal Al-Mass, Pegah Poursharifi, Marie-Line Peyot, Roxane Lussier, ... Marc Prentki

Objective

The recently identified glycerol-3-phosphate (Gro3P) phosphatase(G3PP) in mammalian cells, encoded by the PGP gene, was shown to regulate glucose, lipid and energy metabolism by hydrolyzing Gro3P and to control glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in β-cells, in vitro. However, whether G3PP regulates β-cell function and insulin secretion in vivo is not known.

Methods

We now examined the role of G3PP in the control of insulin secretion in vivo, β-cell function and glucotoxicity in inducible β-cell specific G3PP-KO (BKO) mice. Inducible BKO mice were generated by crossing floxed-G3PP mice with Mip-Cre-ERT (MCre) mice. All the in vivo studies were done using BKO and control mice fed normal diet and the ex vivo studies were done using pancreatic islets from these mice.

Results

BKO mice, compared to MCre controls, showed increased body weight, adiposity, fed insulinemia, enhanced in vivo GSIS, reduced plasma triglycerides and mild glucose intolerance. Isolated BKO mouse islets incubated at high (16.7 mM), but not at low or intermediate glucose (3 and 8 mM), showed elevated GSIS, Gro3P content as well as increased levels of metabolites and signaling coupling factors known to reflect β-cell activation for insulin secretion. BKO islets also showed reduced glycerol release and increased O2 consumption and ATP production at high glucose only. BKO islets chronically exposed to elevated glucose levels showed increased apoptosis, reduced insulin content and decreased mRNA expression of β-cell differentiation markers, Pdx-1, MafA and Ins-2.

Conclusions

The results demonstrate that β-cells are endowed with a “glycerol shunt”, operated by G3PP that regulates β-cell metabolism, signaling and insulin secretion in vivo, primarily at elevated glucose concentrations. We propose that the glycerol shunt plays a role in preventing insulin hypersecretion and excess body weight gain and contributes to β-cell mass preservation in the face of hyperglycemia.

Glycerol-3-phosphate phosphatase operates a glycerol shunt in pancreatic β-cells that controls insulin secretion and metabolic stress

Anfal Al-Mass, Pegah Poursharifi, Marie-Line Peyot, Roxane Lussier, ... Marc Prentki

Objective

The recently identified glycerol-3-phosphate (Gro3P) phosphatase(G3PP) in mammalian cells, encoded by the PGP gene, was shown to regulate glucose, lipid and energy metabolism by hydrolyzing Gro3P and to control glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in β-cells, in vitro. However, whether G3PP regulates β-cell function and insulin secretion in vivo is not known.

Methods

We now examined the role of G3PP in the control of insulin secretion in vivo, β-cell function and glucotoxicity in inducible β-cell specific G3PP-KO (BKO) mice. Inducible BKO mice were generated by crossing floxed-G3PP mice with Mip-Cre-ERT (MCre) mice. All the in vivo studies were done using BKO and control mice fed normal diet and the ex vivo studies were done using pancreatic islets from these mice.

Results

BKO mice, compared to MCre controls, showed increased body weight, adiposity, fed insulinemia, enhanced in vivo GSIS, reduced plasma triglycerides and mild glucose intolerance. Isolated BKO mouse islets incubated at high (16.7 mM), but not at low or intermediate glucose (3 and 8 mM), showed elevated GSIS, Gro3P content as well as increased levels of metabolites and signaling coupling factors known to reflect β-cell activation for insulin secretion. BKO islets also showed reduced glycerol release and increased O2 consumption and ATP production at high glucose only. BKO islets chronically exposed to elevated glucose levels showed increased apoptosis, reduced insulin content and decreased mRNA expression of β-cell differentiation markers, Pdx-1, MafA and Ins-2.

Conclusions

The results demonstrate that β-cells are endowed with a “glycerol shunt”, operated by G3PP that regulates β-cell metabolism, signaling and insulin secretion in vivo, primarily at elevated glucose concentrations. We propose that the glycerol shunt plays a role in preventing insulin hypersecretion and excess body weight gain and contributes to β-cell mass preservation in the face of hyperglycemia.

2021 impact factor: 7.422

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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