The hexosamine pathway may mediate some of the toxic effects of glucose. We hypothesized that flux through this pathway might regulate the activity of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-dependent genes in mesangial cells (MCs). In MCs, RT-PCR revealed that high glucose (30 mmol/l) and glucosamine (1 mmol/l) increased mRNA levels for vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and increased the activity of an NF-κB enhancer by 1.5- and 2-fold, respectively. Overexpression of glutamine: fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFAT), the rate-limiting enzyme for flux through the hexosamine pathway, led to a 2.2-fold increase in NF-κB enhancer activity; the combination of GFAT overexpression and high glucose increased activity 2.8-fold, and these increases were prevented by 40 μmoll/l-diazoacetyl-L-serine (azaserine) or 6-diazo-5-oxonorleucine. High glucose, glucosamine, and GFAT overexpression increased binding of MC nuclear proteins to NF-κB consensus sequences. Immunoblotting revealed that the p65 subunit of NF-κB was O-glycosylated in MC cultured in physiologic glucose and that significant enhancement occurred with high glucose and glucosamine. Both glucose and glucosamine dose-dependently increased human VCAM-1 promoter activity. In addition, GFAT overexpression activated the VCAM-1 promoter (2.25-fold), with further augmentation by high glucose and abrogation by inhibitors of GFAT, NF-κB, and O-glycosylation. Inactivation of the two NF-κB sites in the VCAM-1 promoter abolished its response to high glucose, glucosamine, and GFAT overexpression. These results suggest that increased flux through the hexosamine pathway leads to NF-κB-dependent promoter activation in MCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism