Decreased serum glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels in patients with Chuvash polycythemia: A role for HIF in glucose metabolism

Donald A. McClain, Khadega A. Abuelgasim, Mehdi Nouraie, Juan Salomon-Andonie, Xiaomei Niu, Galina Miasnikova, Lydia A. Polyakova, Adelina Sergueeva, Daniel J. Okhotin, Rabia Cherqaoui, David Okhotin, James E. Cox, Sabina Swierczek, Jihyun Song, M. Celeste Simon, Jingyu Huang, Judith A. Simcox, Donghoon Yoon, Josef T. Prchal, Victor R. Gordeuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

In Chuvash polycythemia, a homozygous 598C>T mutation in the von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL) leads to an R200W substitution in VHL protein, impaired degradation of α-subunits of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 and HIF-2, and augmented hypoxic responses during normoxia. Chronic hypoxia of high altitude is associated with decreased serum glucose and insulin concentrations. Other investigators reported that HIF-1 promotes cellular glucose uptake by increased expression of GLUT1 and increased glycolysis by increased expression of enzymes such as PDK. On the other hand, inactivation of Vhl in murine liver leads to hypoglycemia associated with a HIF-2-related decrease in the expression of the gluconeogenic enzyme genes Pepck, G6pc, and Glut2. We therefore hypothesized that glucose concentrations are decreased in individuals with Chuvash polycythemia. We found that 88 Chuvash VHL R200W homozygotes had lower random glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin A1c levels than 52 Chuvash subjects with wild-type VHL alleles. Serum metabolomics revealed higher glycerol and citrate levels in the VHL R200W homozygotes. We expanded these observations in VHL R200W homozygote mice and found that they had lower fasting glucose values and lower glucose excursions than wild-type control mice but no change in fasting insulin concentrations. Hepatic expression of Glut2 and G6pc, but not Pdk2, was decreased, and skeletal muscle expression of Glut1, Pdk1, and Pdk4 was increased. These results suggest that both decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis and increased skeletal uptake and glycolysis contribute to the decreased glucose concentrations. Further study is needed to determine whether pharmacologically manipulating HIF expression might be beneficial for treatment of diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glucose
  • Glycolysis
  • Hypoxia-inducible factors
  • Insulin
  • VHL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)

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