Loss of mitochondrial pyruvate carrier 2 in the liver leads to defects in gluconeogenesis and compensation via pyruvate-alanine cycling

Kyle S. McCommis, Zhouji Chen, Xiaorong Fu, William G. McDonald, Jerry R. Colca, Rolf F. Kletzien, Shawn C. Burgess, Brian N. Finck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Pyruvate transport across the inner mitochondrial membrane is believed to be a prerequisite for gluconeogenesis in hepatocytes, which is important for the maintenance of normoglycemia during prolonged food deprivation but also contributes to hyperglycemia in diabetes. To determine the requirement for mitochondrial pyruvate import in gluconeogenesis, mice with liver-specific deletion of mitochondrial pyruvate carrier 2 (LS-Mpc2-/-) were generated. Loss of MPC2 impaired, but did not completely abolish, hepatocyte conversion of labeled pyruvate to TCA cycle intermediates and glucose. Unbiased metabolomic analyses of livers from fasted LS-Mpc2-/- mice suggested that alterations in amino acid metabolism, including pyruvate-alanine cycling, might compensate for the loss of MPC2. Indeed, inhibition of pyruvate-alanine transamination further reduced mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism and glucose production by LS-Mpc2-/- hepatocytes. These data demonstrate an important role for MPC2 in controlling hepatic gluconeogenesis and illuminate a compensatory mechanism for circumventing a block in mitochondrial pyruvate import.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-694
Number of pages13
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 6 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology

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