Glucose Metabolism in Polycystic Kidney Disease

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a common genetic disorder characterized by bilateral renal cyst formation.

Publimed: Defective glucose metabolism in polycystic kidney disease identifies a new therapeutic strategy.

Recent identification of signaling cascades deregulated in ADPKD has led to the initiation of several clinical trials, but an approved therapy is still lacking. Using a metabolomic approach, we identify a pathogenic pathway in this disease that can be safely targeted for therapy. We show that mutation of PKD1 results in enhanced glycolysis in cells in a mouse model of PKD and in kidneys from humans with ADPKD.

Glucose deprivation resulted in lower proliferation and higher apoptotic rates in PKD1-mutant cells than in nondeprived cells. Notably, two distinct PKD mouse models treated with 2-deoxyglucose (2DG), to inhibit glycolysis, had lower kidney weight, volume, cystic index and proliferation rates as compared to nontreated mice.

These metabolic alterations depend on the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) pathway acting in a dual manner by inhibiting the liver kinase B1 (LKB1)-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) axis on the one hand while activating the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1)-glycolytic cascade on the other.

Enhanced metabolic rates further inhibit AMPK. Forced activation of AMPK acts in a negative feedback loop, restoring normal ERK activity.

Taken together, these data indicate that defective glucose metabolism is intimately involved in the pathobiology of ADPKD. Our findings provide a strong rationale for a new therapeutic strategy using existing drugs, either individually or in combination.

Publimed: Defective glucose metabolism in polycystic kidney disease identifies a new therapeutic strategy.