Molecular basis for the role of glucokinase regulatory protein as the allosteric switch for glucokinase.
ABSTRACT: Glucokinase (GK) is a monomeric allosteric enzyme and plays a pivotal role in blood glucose homeostasis. GK is regulated by GK regulatory protein (GKRP), and indirectly by allosteric effectors of GKRP. Despite the critical roles of GK and GKRP, the molecular basis for the allosteric regulation mechanism of GK by GKRP remains unclear. We determined the crystal structure of Xenopus GK and GKRP complex in the presence of fructose-6-phosphate at 2.9 Å. GKRP binds to a super-open conformation of GK mainly through hydrophobic interaction, inhibiting the GK activity by locking a small domain of GK. We demonstrate the molecular mechanism for the modulation of GK activity by allosteric effectors of GKRP. Importantly, GKRP releases GK in a sigmoidal manner in response to glucose concentration by restricting a structural rearrangement of the GK small domain via a single ion pair. We find that GKRP acts as an allosteric switch for GK in blood glucose control by the liver.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK), mainly expressed in the liver and pancreatic ?-cells, is critical for maintaining glucose homeostasis. GK expression and kinase activity, respectively, are both modulated at the transcriptional and post-translational levels. Post-translationally, GK is regulated by binding the glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP), resulting in GK retention in the nucleus and its inability to participate in cytosolic glycolysis. Although hepatic GKRP is known to be regulated by allosteric mechanisms, the precise details of modulation of GKRP activity, by post-translational modification, are not well known. Here, we demonstrate that GKRP is acetylated at Lys5 by the acetyltransferase p300. Acetylated GKRP is resistant to degradation by the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome pathway, suggesting that acetylation increases GKRP stability and binding to GK, further inhibiting GK nuclear export. Deacetylation of GKRP is effected by the NAD(+)-dependent, class III histone deacetylase SIRT2, which is inhibited by nicotinamide. Moreover, the livers of db/db obese, diabetic mice also show elevated GKRP acetylation, suggesting a broader, critical role in regulating blood glucose. Given that acetylated GKRP may affiliate with type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), understanding the mechanism of GKRP acetylation in the liver could reveal novel targets within the GK-GKRP pathway, for treating T2DM and other metabolic pathologies.
Project description:GK (glucokinase) is activated by glucose binding to its substrate site, is inhibited by GKRP (GK regulatory protein) and stimulated by GKAs (GK activator drugs). To explore further the mechanisms of these processes we studied pure recombinant human GK (normal enzyme and a selection of 31 mutants) using steady-state kinetics of the enzyme and TF (tryptophan fluorescence). TF studies of the normal binary GK-glucose complex corroborate recent crystallography studies showing that it exists in a closed conformation greatly different from the open conformation of the ligand-free structure, but indistinguishable from the ternary GK-glucose-GKA complex. GKAs did activate and GKRP did inhibit normal GK, whereas its TF was doubled by glucose saturation. However, the enzyme kinetics, GKRP inhibition, TF enhancement by glucose and responsiveness to GKA of the selected mutants varied greatly. Two predominant response patterns were identified accounting for nearly all mutants: (i) GK mutants with a normal or close to normal response to GKA, normally low basal TF (indicating an open conformation), some variability of kinetic parameters (k(cat), glucose S(0.5), h and ATP K(m)), but usually strong GKRP inhibition (13/31); and (ii) GK mutants that are refractory to GKAs, exhibit relatively high basal TF (indicating structural compaction and partial closure), usually show strongly enhanced catalytic activity primarily due to lowering of the glucose S(0.5), but with reduced or no GKRP inhibition in most cases (14/31). These results and those of previous studies are best explained by envisioning a common allosteric regulator region with spatially non-overlapping GKRP- and GKA-binding sites.
Project description:Insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins play important roles in hepatic nutrient homeostasis. Since glucokinase (GK) and glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) function as key glucose sensors, we have investigated the expression of GK and GKRP in liver of Irs-2 deficient mice and Irs2(-/-) mice where Irs2 was reintroduced specifically into pancreatic ?-cells [RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-)]. We observed that liver GK activity was significantly lower (p<0.0001) in IRS-2(-/-) mice. However, in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice, GK activity was similar to the values observed in wild-type animals. GK activity in hypothalamus was not altered in IRS-2(-/-) mice. GK and GKRP mRNA levels in liver of IRS-2(-/-) were significantly lower, whereas in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice, both GK and GKRP mRNAs levels were comparable to wild-type animals. At the protein level, the liver content of GK was reduced in IRS-2(-/-) mice as compared with controls, although GKRP levels were similar between these experimental models. Both GK and GKRP levels were lower in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice. These results suggest that IRS-2 signalling is important for maintaining the activity of liver GK. Moreover, the differences between liver and brain GK may be explained by the fact that expression of hepatic, but not brain, GK is controlled by insulin. GK activity was restored by the ?-cell compensation in the RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2 mice. Interestingly, GK and GKRP protein expression remained low in RIP-Irs-2/IRS-2(-/-) mice, perhaps reflecting different mRNA half-lives or alterations in the process of translation and post-translational regulation.
Project description:Hepatic glucose phosphorylation by GK (glucokinase) is regulated by GKRP (GK regulatory protein). GKRP forms a cytosolic complex with GK followed by nuclear import and storage, leading to inhibition of GK activity. This process is initiated by low glucose, but reversed nutritionally by high glucose and fructose or pharmacologically by GKAs (GK activators) and GKRPIs (GKRP inhibitors). To study the regulation of this process by glucose, fructose-phosphate esters and a GKA, we measured the TF (tryptophan fluorescence) of human WT (wild-type) and GKRP-P446L (a mutation associated with high serum triacylglycerol) in the presence of non-fluorescent GK with its tryptophan residues mutated. Titration of GKRP-WT by GK resulted in a sigmoidal increase in TF, suggesting co-operative PPIs (protein-protein interactions) perhaps due to the hysteretic nature of GK. The affinity of GK for GKRP was decreased and binding co-operativity increased by glucose, fructose 1-phosphate and GKA, reflecting disruption of the GK-GKRP complex. Similar studies with GKRP-P446L showed significantly different results compared with GKRP-WT, suggesting impairment of complex formation and nuclear storage. The results of the present TF-based biophysical analysis of PPIs between GK and GKRP suggest that hepatic glucose metabolism is regulated by a metabolite-sensitive drug-responsive co-operative molecular switch, involving complex formation between these two allosterically regulated proteins.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK), the hexokinase involved in glucose sensing in pancreatic ? cells, is also expressed in hypothalamic tanycytes, which cover the ventricular walls of the basal hypothalamus and are implicated in an indirect control of neuronal activity by glucose. Previously, we demonstrated that GK was preferentially localized in tanycyte nuclei in euglycemic rats, which has been reported in hepatocytes and is suggestive of the presence of the GK regulatory protein, GKRP. In the present study, GK intracellular localization in hypothalamic and hepatic tissues of the same rats under several glycemic conditions was compared using confocal microscopy and Western blot analysis. In the hypothalamus, increased GK nuclear localization was observed in hyperglycemic conditions; however, it was primarily localized in the cytoplasm in hepatic tissue under the same conditions. Both GK and GKRP were next cloned from primary cultures of tanycytes. Expression of GK by Escherichia coli revealed a functional cooperative protein with a S0.5 of 10 mM. GKRP, expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, inhibited GK activity in vitro with a Ki 0.2 µM. We also demonstrated increased nuclear reactivity of both GK and GKRP in response to high glucose concentrations in tanycyte cultures. These data were confirmed using Western blot analysis of nuclear extracts. Results indicate that GK undergoes short-term regulation by nuclear compartmentalization. Thus, in tanycytes, GK can act as a molecular switch to arrest cellular responses to increased glucose.
Project description:Berberine (BBR) is a widely used anti-diabetic agent, and liver glucokinase (GK) has been reported to be involved. However, the mechanisms of BBR in regulating GK are still unknown. Here, we found that BBR upregulated GK immunofluorescence expression in AML12 cells cultured in high glucose and increased glycogen content simultaneously. BBR improved hyperglycemia in db/db mice, and increased liver glucose-6-phosphate/glucose-1-phosphate (G-6-P/G-1-P) was found by analyzing metabolites (serum, liver, and feces) based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics. Pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) assessment revealed enriched BBR distribution in the liver, and liver G-6-P had the same trend as the concentration-time curve of BBR. G-6-P is solely catalyzed by GK, and GK activity and expression showed a positive correlation with liver BBR levels. In db/db mice, BBR also upregulated GK in liver fractions (cytoplasm and nucleus) and liver glycogen content. GK functionally worked by dissociating from GK regulatory protein (GKRP), and although GKRP expression was not affected, we found a decreased ratio of GK binding with GKRP in BBR treated db/db mice. In conclusion, our study suggests the dissociation of GK from GKRP as the potential mechanism for liver GK increase upon BBR treatment, which contributes to the anti-diabetic effect of BBR.
Project description:Glucose homeostasis is performed by specialized cells types that detect and respond to changes in systemic glucose concentration. Hepatocytes, ?-cells and hypothalamic tanycytes are part of the glucosensor cell types, which express several proteins involved in the glucose sensing mechanism such as GLUT2, Glucokinase (GK) and Glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP). GK catalyzes the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate (G-6P), and its activity and subcellular localization are regulated by GKRP. In liver, when glucose concentration is low, GKRP binds to GK holding it in the nucleus, while the rise in glucose concentration induces a rapid export of GK from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. In contrast, hypothalamic tanycytes display inverse compartmentalization dynamic in response to glucose: a rise in the glucose concentration drives nuclear compartmentalization of GK. The underlying mechanism responsible for differential GK subcellular localization in tanycytes has not been described yet. However, it has been suggested that relative expression between GK and GKRP might play a role. To study the effects of GKRP expression levels in the subcellular localization of GK, we used insulinoma 832/13 cells and hypothalamic tanycytes to overexpress the tanycytic sequences of Gckr. By immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis, we observed that overexpression of GKRP, independently of the cellular context, turns GK localization to a liver-like fashion, as GK is mainly localized in the nucleus in response to low glucose. Evaluating the expression levels of GKRP in relation to GK through RT-qPCR, suggest that excess of GKRP might influence the pattern of GK subcellular localization. In this sense, we propose that the low expression of GKRP (in relation to GK) observed in tanycytes is responsible, at least in part, for the compartmentalization pattern observed in this cell type. Since GKRP behaves as a GK inhibitor, the regulation of GKRP expression levels or activity in tanycytes could be used as a therapeutic target to regulate the glucosensing activity of these cells and consequently to regulate feeding behavior.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) is an enzyme that catalyzes the ATP-dependent phosphorylation of glucose to form glucose-6-phosphate, and it is a tightly regulated checkpoint in glucose homeostasis. GK is known to undergo substantial conformational changes upon glucose binding. The monomeric enzyme possesses a highly exotic kinetic activity profile with an unusual sigmoidal dependence on glucose concentration. In this interdisciplinary study, which draws on small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) integrated with 250?ns of atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and experimental glucose binding thermodynamics, we reveal that the critical regulation of this glucose sensor is due to a solvent controlled "switch". We demonstrate that the "solvent switch" is driven by specific protein structural dynamics, which leads to an enzyme structure that has a much more favorable solvation energy than most of the protein ensemble. These findings uncover the physical workings of an agile and flexible protein scaffold, which derives its long-range allosteric control through specific regions with favorable solvation energy. The physiological framework presented herein provides insights that have direct implications for the design of small molecule GK activators as anti-diabetes therapeutics as well as for understanding how proteins can be designed to have built-in regulatory functions via solvation energy dynamics.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) plays a vital role in the control of blood glucose levels and its altered activity can lead to the development of forms of diabetes. We have previously identified a mutant GK (R308K) in patients with type 2 diabetes with reduced enzyme activity. In the present study, the activation mechanism of GK from super-open to the closed state under wild-type and mutant conditions in the presence of the novel aminophosphonate derivative YNKGKA4 (an allosteric activator of GK) was characterized via a series of molecular dynamics simulations. A reliable conformational transition pathway of GK was observed from super-open to closed state during trajectory analysis. Glucose was also observed to modulate its binding orientation in the active site but with stable moments in the cavity. These observations provide insights into the complicated conformational transitions in the presence of YNKGKA4 and the molecular mechanism of GK activators for the allosteric regulation of mutant forms of GK.
Project description:Impaired hepatic glucose uptake (HGU) causes postprandial hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. Here, we show that diminished hepatic Sirt2 activity impairs HGU in obese diabetic mice. Hepatic Sirt2 overexpression increases HGU in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed obese diabetic mice and mitigates their impaired glucose tolerance. Hepatic Sirt2 knockdown in non-diabetic mice reduces HGU and causes impaired glucose tolerance. Sirt2 promotes glucose-dependent HGU by deacetylating K126 of glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP). Glucokinase and GKRP glucose-dependent dissociation is necessary for HGU but is inhibited in hepatocytes derived from obese diabetic mice, depleted of Sirt2 or transfected with GKRP acetylation-mimicking mutants. GKRP deacetylation-mimicking mutants dissociate from glucokinase in a glucose concentration-dependent manner in obese diabetic mouse-derived hepatocytes and increase HGU and glucose tolerance in HFD-induced or db/db obese diabetic mice. We demonstrate that Sirt2-dependent GKRP deacetylation improves impaired HGU and suggest that it may be a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes.