Glucokinase is the predominant hexokinase in pancreatic β-cells and liver parenchymal cells and functions as a critical component of the glucose-sensing apparatus in these glucose-responsive cell types. In the β-cells, the sensing leads to insulin secretion, while the role in hepatocytes is thought to be in hepatic glucose uptake. To determine the physiological response to an increase in hepatic glucokinase expression, transgenic mice expressing the human hepatic glucokinase gene under the control of a liver-specific human apolipoprotein A-I gene enhancer were generated. Transgenic mice had twofold higher total fasting hepatic glucokinase mRNA, which resulted in a modest 20% increase in fasting glucokinase activity. These animals showed lower fasting plasma glucose, insulin, and lactate levels and improved tolerance to glucose. In addition, glucokinase transgenic animals weighed less and had lower BMI than nontransgenic animals. Thus, glucokinase transgenic animals demonstrate that a modest change in hepatic glucokinase activity enhances the metabolism of glucose.
- Received February 26, 1996.
- Revision received August 15, 1996.
- Accepted August 15, 1996.
- Copyright © 1997 by the American Diabetes Association