Adenovirus-mediated expression of glucokinase in the liver as an adjuvant treatment for type 1 diabetes

Núria Morral, Robert McEvoy, Hengjiang Dong, Marcia Meseck, Jennifer Altomonte, Swan Thung, Savio L.C. Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Glucokinase (GK) plays a crucial role in hepatic glucose disposal. Its activity is decreased in patients with maturity-onset diabetes of the young and in some animal models of diabetes. We investigated the feasibility of manipulating GK expression as an adjuvant treatment for type 1 diabetes, using an E1/E3-deleted adenoviral vector (Ad.EF1αGK) delivered to the liver of streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rats. First, we studied the metabolic impact of constitutive glucokinase expression in the absence of insulin. Normal blood glucose levels were observed after gene transfer, and glucose tolerance was substantially enhanced compared with diabetic control animals, suggesting that hepatic GK expression is a feasible mechanism to enhance glucose disposal. In a second study we administered Ad.EF1αGK together with subcutaneous insulin injections to determine whether the combined action of insulin plus GK activity would provide better glucose homeostasis than insulin treatment alone. This combination approach resulted in constant, near-normal glucose values under fed conditions. Furthermore, the animals stayed in the normoglycemic range after an overnight fast, indicating that the risk to develop hypoglycemia is not increased by expression of GK. Alterations of other metabolic routes were observed, suggesting that insulin-regulated expression of GK may be necessary to use the strategy as a treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1561-1570
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 27 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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