Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 179, Issue 5, pp 643–652 | Cite as

A hepatic protein modulates glucokinase activity in fish and avian liver: a comparative study

  • Sergio Polakof
  • Jesús M. Míguez
  • José L. Soengas
Original Paper


Glucokinase (GCK) is a key enzyme involved in hepatic glucose metabolism as well as in glucose homeostasis regulation. In mammals, GCK is regulated in vivo by a regulatory protein (GCKR) through a nucleus-to-cytoplasm translocation enhanced by fructose 1-phosphate and counteracted by fructose 6-phosphate. There were no previous evidences in literature regarding the presence of GCKR in livers of other vertebrates like fish and bird. Accordingly, in the present study we assessed GCKR presence in chicken, trout, carp, and goldfish hepatic homogenates. The results obtained demonstrate for the first time the presence of a GCKR-like protein in the liver of those species, with molecular weight (68 kDa) and biochemical properties similar to those described in mammals. Several of the biochemical properties of rainbow trout GCKR-like protein were closer to the mammalian model whereas those of chicken protein were specific. We also compared the presence and properties of GCKR-like protein in livers of different teleost species that exhibit different tolerances to glucose such as rainbow trout (intolerant) and goldfish and common carp (tolerant). The results showed that the most powerful GCKR-like protein was found in the most intolerant species, whereas the inhibition exerted by GCKR-like protein in tolerant species was closer to chicken than to rat. Furthermore, the response of GCKR-like protein in liver of rainbow trout fed with a diet rich in carbohydrates was compared with the rat model under extreme glycemic conditions. We found that despite trout GCKR-like protein was less active and expressed than in rat, the response against glycemic changes took place in the same direction, and the ratio GCKR-like protein:GCK was affected in a similar way.


Glucokinase Glucokinase regulatory protein Fish Bird Hepatic glucose metabolism 



Bicinchoninic acid


Bovine serum albumin


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Fructose 1-phosphate


Fructose 6-phosphate


Glucokinase (EC


Glucokinase regulatory protein


Hexokinase (EC


Horseradish peroxidase


Tricaine methanesulfonate


Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Sorbitol 6-phosphate


Sodium dodecyl sulphate


Tris-buffered saline


Tris-buffered saline-Tween-20



This study was supported by research grants from Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia and European Fund for Regional Development (AGL2007-65744-C03-01/ACU) and Universidade de Vigo (Contrato-Programa con grupos de investigación consolidados). SP was recipient of a predoctoral fellowship from the Xunta de Galicia (Program Maria Barbeito). We acknowledge Dr. Susana Sangiao Alvarellos (University of A Coruña) for her expert technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Polakof
    • 1
  • Jesús M. Míguez
    • 1
  • José L. Soengas
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Fisioloxía Animal, Departamento de Bioloxía Funcional e Ciencias da Saúde, Facultade de Bioloxía Edificio de Ciencias ExperimentaisUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain

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