The signaling mechanisms by which dietary fat and cholesterol signals regulate central pathways of glucose homeostasis are not completely understood. By using a hepatocyte-specific PKCβ-deficient (PKCβHep–/–) mouse model, we demonstrated the role of hepatic PKCβ in slowing disposal of glucose overload by suppressing glycogenesis and increasing hepatic glucose output. PKCβHep–/– mice exhibited lower plasma glucose under the fed condition, modestly improved systemic glucose tolerance and mildly suppressed gluconeogenesis, increased hepatic glycogen accumulation and synthesis due to elevated glucokinase expression and activated glycogen synthase (GS), and suppressed glucose-6-phosphatase expression compared with controls. These events were independent of hepatic AKT/GSK-3α/β signaling and were accompanied by increased HNF-4α transactivation, reduced FoxO1 protein abundance, and elevated expression of GS targeting protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3C in the PKCβHep–/– liver compared with controls. The above data strongly imply that hepatic PKCβ deficiency causes hypoglycemia postprandially by promoting glucose phosphorylation via upregulating glucokinase and subsequently redirecting more glucose-6-phosphate to glycogen via activating GS. In summary, hepatic PKCβ has a unique and essential ability to induce a coordinated response that negatively affects glycogenesis at multiple levels under physiological postprandial conditions, thereby integrating nutritional fat intake with dysregulation of glucose homeostasis.
Yaoling Shu, Faizule Hassan, Michael C. Ostrowski, Kamal D. Mehta