Lysine post-translational modification of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase regulates hepatic and systemic metabolism

FASEB J. 2017 Jun;31(6):2592-2602. doi: 10.1096/fj.201601215R. Epub 2017 Mar 3.


Reciprocal regulation of hepatic glycolysis and gluconeogenesis contributes to systemic metabolic homeostasis. Recent evidence from lower order organisms has found that reversible post-translational modification of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), particularly acetylation, contributes to the reciprocal regulation of glycolysis/gluconeogenesis. However, whether this occurs in mammalian hepatocytes in vitro or in vivo is unknown. Several proteomics studies have identified 4 lysine residues in critical regions of mammalian GAPDH that are altered by multiple post-translational modifications. In FAO hepatoma cells, mutation of all 4 lysine residues (4K-R GAPDH) to mimic their unmodified state reduced GAPDH glycolytic activity and glycolytic flux and increased gluconeogenic GAPDH activity and glucose production. Hepatic expression of 4K-R GAPDH in mice increased GAPDH gluconeogenic activity and the contribution of gluconeogenesis to endogenous glucose production in the unfed state. Consistent with the increased reliance on the energy-consuming gluconeogenic pathway, plasma free fatty acids and ketones were elevated in mice expressing 4K-R GAPDH, suggesting enhanced lipolysis and hepatic fatty acid oxidation. In normal mice, food withholding and refeeding, as well as hormonal regulators of reciprocal glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, such as insulin, glucagon, and norepinephrine, had no effect on global GAPDH acetylation. However, GAPDH acetylation was reduced in obese and type 2 diabetic db/db mice. These findings show that post-translational modification of GAPDH lysine residues regulates hepatic and systemic metabolism, revealing an unappreciated role for hepatic GAPDH in substrate selection and utilization.-Bond, S. T., Howlett, K. F., Kowalski, G. M., Mason, S., Connor, T., Cooper, A., Streltsov, V., Bruce, C. R., Walder, K. R., McGee, S. L. Lysine post-translational modification of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase regulates hepatic and systemic metabolism.

Keywords: gluconeogenesis; glycolysis; ketones; liver metabolism; lysine acetylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology*
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (Phosphorylating) / genetics
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (Phosphorylating) / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Lysine*
  • Mice
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology*
  • Rats


  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (Phosphorylating)
  • Lysine