Glucose metabolism in transgenic mice containing a chimeric P-enolpyruvate carboxykinase/bovine growth hormone gene

Alfons Valera, Joan Enric Rodriguez-Gil, Jeung S. Yun, Mary M. Mcgrane, Richard W. Hanson, Fatima Bosch

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Transgenic mice, containing the chimeric gene obtained by linking the promoter-regulatory region of P-enolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) gene to the bovine growth hormone structural gene (bGH), were used to investigate the long-term effects of bGH on glucose metabolism. Expression of the PEPCK/bGH gene was markedly enhanced by feeding a diet high in protein and inhibited by a high carbohydrate diet. All transgenic mice had normal levels of blood glucose but were hyperinsulinemic, indicating that they were insulin resistant. The glycogen synthase activity ratios in the muscle and liver of transgenic mice were lower than noted for control animals, and remained unchanged in liver after feeding a standard high carbohydrate or a high protein diet. Similar effects were detected in the activity of glycogen phosphorylase, except that a high carbohydrate diet activated this enzyme in the liver. The activation of glycogen phosphorylase in both muscle and liver correlated with the expression of their genes. These animals had a significant content of glycogen and glucose 6-phosphate, which was related to the levels of glucokinase mRNA in the liver. The concentration of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate in the liver of all fed transgenic mice was lower than noted in livers from fed animals. In addition, a decrease in the hepatic expression of the endogenous genes for PEPCK, tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT), and the glucose transporter GLUT-2 was observed and directly correlated with the expression of bGH. Thus, bGH can control glucose metabolism in vivo, at least in part, by modifying the expression of several genes coding for proteins of importance in carbohydrate metabolism. Taken together, these results indicate a state of insulin resistance caused by chronic exposure of the animals to an elevated concentration of bGH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-800
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1993


  • Bovine growth hormone
  • Gene expression
  • Glocuse metabolism
  • P-enolpyruvate carboxykinase promoter
  • Transgenic mice


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