Species-specific glucose-6-phosphatase activity in the small intestine—studies in three different mammalian models

Viola Varga, Zsófia Murányi, Anita Kurucz, Paola Marcolongo, Angelo Benedetti, Gábor Bánhegyi, Éva Margittai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Besides the liver, which has always been considered the major source of endogenous glucose production in all post-absorptive situations, kidneys and intestines can also produce glucose in blood, particularly during fasting and under protein feeding. However, observations gained in different experimental animals have given ambiguous results concerning the presence of the glucose-6-phosphatase system in the small intestine. The aim of this study was to better define the species-related differences of this putative gluconeogenic organ in glucose homeostasis. The components of the glucose-6-phosphatase system (i.e., glucose-6-phosphate transporter and glucose-6-phosphatase itself) were analyzed in homogenates or microsomal fractions prepared from the small intestine mucosae and liver of rats, guinea pigs, and humans. Protein and mRNA levels, as well as glucose-6-phosphatase activities, were detected. The results showed that the glucose-6-phosphatase system is poorly represented in the small intestine of rats; on the other hand, significant expressions of glucose-6-phosphate transporter and of the glucose-6-phosphatase were found in the small intestine of guinea pigs and homo sapiens. The activity of the recently described fructose-6-phosphate transporter–intraluminal hexose isomerase pathway was also present in intestinal microsomes from these two species. The results demonstrate that the gluconeogenic role of the small intestine is highly species-specific and presumably dependent on feeding behavior (e.g., fructose consumption) and the actual state of metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5039
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2019


  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Fructose
  • Glucose-6-phosphatase
  • Glucose-6-phosphate transporter
  • Small intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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