5-Amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide riboside (AICAriboside; Z-riboside), the nucleotide corresponding to AICAribotide (AICAR or ZMP), an intermediate of the ‘de novo’ pathway of purine nucleotide biosynthesis, has been shown to inhibit gluconeogenesis in isolated rat hepatocytes [Vincent, Marangos, Gruber & Van den Berghe (1991) Diabetes 40, 1259-1266]. We now report that glycosis is also inhibited and even more sensitive to AICAriboside in these cells. In hepatocyte suspensions from fasted rats, production of lactate from 15 mM-glucose was half-maximally inhibited by 25-50 microM-AICAriboside. AICAriboside influenced two regulatory steps of glycolysis: (1) it decreased the release of 3H2O from [2-3H]glucose and the concentrations of both glucose 6-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate, indicating that it diminished the phosphorylation of glucose by glucokinase; (2) it decreased the concentration of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (Fru-2,6-P2), the main physiological stimulator of liver 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase. Further studies showed that AICAriboside induced an inactivation of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase, the enzyme that produces Fru-2,6-P2, without affecting the concentration of cyclic AMP. Similarly to the inhibiton of gluconeogenesis by AICAriboside, the inhibition of glycolysis became apparent after an approx. 10 min latency and persisted when the cells were washed after addition of AICAriboside, strongly suggesting that the effects were also exerted by the Z-nucleotides, which accumulate after addition of AICAriboside to hepatocytes. An increased uptake of lactate was evident when 50-200 microM-AICAriboside was added 15 min after addition of glucose. This can be explained by the higher sensitivity of glycolysis, as compared with gluconeogenesis, to inhibition by AICAriboside, and reveals the simultaneous operation of both processes.

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