Functional roles of fructose
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During the periimplantation period of pregnancy, pig blastocysts undergo morphological changes and differentiation requiring secretion and transport of nutrients (histotroph) into the uterine lumen. Of these nutrients, glucose is converted to fructose, an isomer of glucose, by conceptus trophectoderm. Although glucose is an energy source for proliferation and growth of mammalian cells, the role of fructose in uterine histotroph is unclear although it is the most abundant hexose sugar in fetal blood and fluids of ungulate mammals (e.g., cows, sheep, and pigs). In this study, we used porcine trophectoderm cells to determine that fructose increased cell proliferation, as did glucose. Western blot analyses of porcine trophectoderm cell extracts revealed that fructose increased the abundance of phosphorylated-RPS6K, -EIF4EBP1, and -RPS6 over basal levels within 30 min, and those levels remained elevated to 120 min. Phosphorylation of both RPS6K and EIF4EBP1 proteins in response to fructose was inhibited by inhibitors of both PI3K and MTOR. Further, when we investigated the inhibition of glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase 1 (GFPT1) by azaserine (an inhibitor of GFPT1) and GFPT1 siRNA, we found that MTOR-RPS6K and MTOR-EIF4EBP1 signaling in response to fructose is mediated via GFPT1 activation and the hexosamine pathway. We further demonstrated that fructose stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid via GFPT1 and the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway. Collectively, these results demonstrate critical roles for fructose that are mediated via the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway to stimulate MTOR cell signaling, proliferation of porcine trophectoderm cells, and synthesis of hyaluronic acid, a significant glycosaminoglycan in the pregnant uterus.
author list (cited authors)
Kim, J., Song, G., Wu, G., & Bazer, F. W.