Hypoxia-inducible factor activation reprograms glucose metabolism and leads to glycogen accumulation in multiple cell types. In this issue of Kidney International, Ito and colleagues demonstrate that pharmacologic inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor-prolyl hydroxylase domain oxygen sensors in renal epithelial cells enhances glycogen synthesis and protects from subsequent hypoxia and glucose deprivation. In vivo studies advance the concept that renal glycogen metabolism contributes to cytoprotection afforded by pre-ischemic hypoxia-inducible factor-prolyl hydroxylase domain inhibition.
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