Although insulin is known to regulate glucose metabolism and closely associate with liver cancer, the molecular mechanisms still remain to be elucidated. In this study, we attempt to understand the mechanism of insulin in promotion of liver cancer metabolism. We found that insulin increased pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) expression through reactive oxygen species (ROS) for regulating glucose consumption and lactate production, key process of glycolysis in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 and Bel7402 cells. Interestingly, insulin-induced ROS was found responsible for the suppression of miR-145 and miR-128, and forced expression of either miR-145 or miR-128 was sufficient to abolish insulin-induced PKM2 expression. Furthermore, the knockdown of PKM2 expression also inhibited cancer cell growth and insulin-induced glucose consumption and lactate production, suggesting that PKM2 is a functional downstream effecter of insulin. Taken together, this study would provide a new insight into the mechanism of insulin-induced glycolysis.
Recommended CitationLi, Qi; Liu, Xue; Yin, Yu; Zheng, Ji-Tai; Jiang, Cheng-Fei; Wang, Jing; Shen, Hua; Li, Chong-Yong; Wang, Min; Liu, Ling-Zhi; and Jiang, Bing-Hua, "Insulin regulates glucose consumption and lactate production through reactive oxygen species and pyruvate kinase M2." (2014). Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology Faculty Papers. Paper 147.