Evidence from transgenic mice that myc regulates hepatic glycolysis

A. Valera, A. Pujol, X. Gregori, E. Riu, J. Visa, F. Bosch

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The product of the c-myc proto-oncogene (c-Myc) is involved in the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. It acts as a transcription factor that recognizes the CACGTG motif. This sequence has also been found in the glucose-responsive elements of genes involved in the control of liver glycolysis and lipogenesis. To determine whether c-Myc can regulate hepatic carbohydrate metabolism in vivo, transgenic mice that overexpress c-myc under control of the P-enolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene promoter have been generated. These mice showed a threefold increase in c-Myc protein in liver nuclei. Hepatocytes from transgenic mice were normal and did not acquire the fetal phenotype. However, transgenic mice showed higher levels (threefold) of L-type pyruvate kinase mRNA and enzyme activity than control mice. The increase in pyruvate kinase activity led to a three- to fivefold increase in liver lactate content and a fivefold induction of lactate production by hepatocytes in primary culture. The expression of the 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase gene was also increased in the liver of these transgenic mice. The induction of hepatic glycolysis was related with an increase in the expression (about fourfold) and activity (about three-fold) of liver glucokinase, whereas no change was noted in hexokinase-I. This change in glucokinase activity led to an increase in both glucose 6-phosphate and glycogen contents in the liver of transgenic mice. The expression of the liver-specific glucose transporter GLUT2 was also increased in transgenic mice, whereas no change was noted in the mRNA concentration of GLUT1. Furthermore, the changes of liver glucose metabolism led to a marked reduction of blood glucose (25%) and insulin (40%) concentrations in starvation, whereas the fall in both was only 10% in fed mice. Thus, liver glucose metabolism could determine the blood glucose and insulin set points in the transgenic mice. All these results indicated that the increase in c- Myc protein was able to induce liver glucose utilization and accumulation, and suggested that c-Myc transcription factor is involved in the control in vivo of liver carbohydrate metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1078
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • c-Myc
  • glycolysis
  • liver
  • P-enolpyruvate carboxykinase gene promoter
  • transgenic mice


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