High glucose concentrations stimulate human monocyte sodium/hydrogen exchanger activity and modulate atherosclerosis-related functions
Glucose serves as both a nutrient and regulator of physiological and pathological processes. Presently, we found that glucose and certain sugars rapidly activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) by a mechanism that was: (a) independent of glucose uptake/metabolism and protein kinase C but nevertheless cytochalasin B-inhibitable; (b) dependent upon proline-rich tyrosine kinase-2 (PYK2), GRB2, SOS, RAS, RAF, and MEK1; and (c) amplified by overexpression of the Glut1, but not Glut2, Glut3, or Glut4, glucose transporter. This amplifying effect was independent of glucose uptake but dependent on residues 463-468, IASGFR, in the Glut1 C terminus. Accordingly, glucose effects on ERK were amplified by expression of Glut4/Glut1 or Glut2/Glut1 chimeras containing IASGFR but not by Glut1/Glut4 or Glut1/Glut2 chimeras lacking these residues. Also, deletion of Glut1 residues 469-492 was without effect, but mutations involving serine 465 or arginine 468 yielded dominant-negative forms that inhibited glucose-dependent ERK activation. Glucose stimulated the phosphorylation of tyrosine residues 402 and 881 in PYK2 and binding of PYK2 to Myc-Glut1. Our findings suggest that: (a) glucose activates the GRB2/SOS/RAS/RAF/MEK1/ERK pathway by a mechanism that requires PYK2 and residues 463-468, IASGFR, in the Glut1 C terminus and (b) Glut1 serves as a sensor, transducer, and amplifier for glucose signaling to PYK2 and ERK.