Previous studies have shown that glucose increases the glucose transporter (GLUT2) mRNA expression in the liver in vivo and in vitro. Here we report an analysis of the effects of glucose metabolism on GLUT2 gene expression. GLUT2 mRNA accumulation by glucose was not due to stabilization of its transcript but rather was a direct effect on gene transcription. A proximal fragment of the 5´ regulatory region of the mouse GLUT2 gene linked to a reporter gene was transiently transfected into liver GLUT2-expressing cells. Glucose stimulated reporter gene expression in these cells, suggesting that glucose-responsive elements were included within the proximal region of the promoter. A dose-dependent effect of glucose on GLUT2 expression was observed over 10 mM glucose irrespective of the hexokinase isozyme (glucokinase Km 16 mM; hexokinase I Km 0.01 mM) present in the cell type used. This suggests that the correlation between extracellular glucose and GLUT2 mRNA concentrations is simply a reflection of an activation of glucose metabolism. The mediators and the mechanism responsible for this response remain to be determined. In conclusion, glucose metabolism is required for the proper induction of the GLUT2 gene in the liver and this effect is transcriptionally regulated.

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