β-Cell mitochondria play a central role in coupling glucose metabolism with insulin secretion. Here, we identified a metabolic function of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1)/cyclin B1-the activation of mitochondrial respiratory complex I-that is active in quiescent adult β-cells and hyperactive in β-cells from obese (ob/ob) mice. In WT islets, respirometry revealed that 65% of complex I flux and 49% of state 3 respiration is sensitive to CDK1 inhibition. Islets from ob/ob mice expressed more cyclin B1 and exhibited a higher sensitivity to CDK1 blockade, which reduced complex I flux by 76% and state 3 respiration by 79%. The ensuing reduction in mitochondrial NADH utilization, measured with two-photon NAD(P)H fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), was matched in the cytosol by a lag in citrate cycling, as shown with a FRET reporter targeted to β-cells. Moreover, time-resolved measurements revealed that in ob/ob islets, where complex I flux dominates respiration, CDK1 inhibition is sufficient to restrict the duty cycle of ATP/ADP and calcium oscillations, the parameter that dynamically encodes β-cell glucose sensing. Direct complex I inhibition with rotenone mimicked the restrictive effects of CDK1 inhibition on mitochondrial respiration, NADH turnover, ATP/ADP, and calcium influx. These findings identify complex I as a critical mediator of obesity-associated metabolic remodeling in β-cells and implicate CDK1 as a regulator of complex I that enhances β-cell glucose sensing.
Keywords: RO-3306; calcium; complex I; cyclin B1; cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1); insulin secretion; mitochondrial metabolism; ob/ob mice; obesity; pancreatic β cell.