Mitochondrial metabolism sets the maximal limit of fuel-stimulated insulin secretion in a model pancreatic beta cell: a survey of four fuel secretagogues.
The precise metabolic steps that couple glucose catabolism to insulin secretion in the pancreatic beta cell are incompletely understood. ATP generated from glycolytic metabolism in the cytosol, from mitochondrial metabolism, and/or from the hydrogen shuttles operating between cytosolic and mitochondrial compartments has been implicated as an important coupling factor. To identify the importance of each of these metabolic pathways, we have compared the fates of four fuel secretagogues (glucose, pyruvate, dihydroxyacetone, and glycerol) in the INS1-E beta cell line. Two of these fuels, dihydroxyacetone and glycerol, are normally ineffective as secretagogues but are enabled by adenovirus-mediated expression of glycerol kinase. Comparison of these two particular fuels allows the effect of redox state on insulin secretion to be evaluated since the phosphorylated products dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glycerol phosphate lie on opposite sides of the NADH-consuming glycerophosphate dehydrogenase reaction. Based upon measurements of glycolytic metabolites, mitochondrial oxidation, mitochondrial matrix calcium, and mitochondrial membrane potential, we find that insulin secretion most tightly correlates with mitochondrial metabolism for each of the four fuels. In the case of glucose stimulation, the high control strength of glucose phosphorylation sets the pace of glucose metabolism and thus the rate of insulin secretion. However, bypassing this reaction with pyruvate, dihydroxyacetone, or glycerol uncovers constraints imposed by mitochondrial metabolism, each of which attains a similar maximal limit of insulin secretion. More specifically, we found that the hyperpolarization of the mitochondrial membrane, related to the proton export from the mitochondrial matrix, correlates well with insulin secretion. Based on these findings, we propose that fuel-stimulated secretion is in fact limited by the inherent thermodynamic constraints of proton gradient formation.
Antinozzi, PA; Ishihara, H; Newgard, CB; Wollheim, CB
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