Fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (F26P2) was identified as a regulator of glucose metabolism over 25 years ago. A truly bifunctional enzyme, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase (6PFK2/FBP2), with two active sites synthesizes F26P2 from fructose-6-phosphate (F6P) and ATP or degrades F26P2 to F6P and Pi. In the classic view, F26P2 regulates glucose metabolism by allosteric effects on 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase (6PFK1, activation) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase, inhibition). When levels of F26P2 are high, glycolysis is enhanced and gluconeogenesis is inhibited. In this regard, altering levels of F26P2 via 6PFK2/FBP2 overexpression has been used for metabolic modulation, and has been shown capable of restoring euglycemia in rodent models of diabetes. Recently, a number of novel observations have suggested that F26P2 has much broader effects on the enzymes of glucose metabolism. This is evidenced by the effects of F26P2 on the gene expression of two key glucose metabolic enzymes, glucokinase (GK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase). When levels of F26P2 are elevated in the liver, the gene expression and protein amount of GK is increased whereas G6Pase is decreased. These coordinated changes in GK and G6Pase protein illustrate how F26P2 regulates glucose metabolism. F26P2 also affects the gene expression of enzymes related to lipid metabolism. When F26P2 levels are elevated in liver, the expression of two key lipogenic enzymes, acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) is reduced, contributing to a unique coordinated decrease in lipogenesis. When combined, F26P2 effects on glucose and lipid metabolism provide cooperative regulation of fuel metabolism. The regulatory roles for F26P2 have also expanded to transcription factors, as well as certain key proteins (enzymes) of signaling and/or energy sensoring. Although some effects may be secondary to changes in metabolite levels, high levels of F26P2 have been shown to regulate protein amount and/or phosphorylation state of hepatic nuclear factor 1-α (HNF1α), carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP), peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor α (PPARα), and peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor γ co-activator 1β (PGC1β), as well as Akt and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Importantly, changes in these transcription factors, signaling proteins, and sensor proteins are produced in a way that appropriately coordinates whole body fuel metabolism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by a P&F Program Award from the Minnesota Obesity Center that is funded by an NIH 3P30-DK50456-08 grant, a Research Award 3487-9227-05 from the Minnesota Medical Foundation (to C.W.), an Equipment Award from the Minnesota Medical Foundation and an NIH RO1-DK38354 grant (to A.J.L.).