Rationale:

Metabolic and structural remodeling is a hallmark of heart failure. This remodeling involves activation of the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signaling pathway, but little is known on how intermediary metabolites are integrated as metabolic signals.

Objective:

We investigated the metabolic control of cardiac glycolysis and explored the potential of glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) to regulate glycolytic flux and mTOR activation.

Methods and Results:

We developed a kinetic model of cardiomyocyte carbohydrate metabolism, CardioGlyco, to study the metabolic control of myocardial glycolysis and G6P levels. Metabolic control analysis revealed that G6P concentration is dependent on phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) activity. Next, we integrated ex vivo tracer studies with mathematical simulations to test how changes in glucose supply and glycolytic flux affect mTOR activation. Nutrient deprivation promoted a tight coupling between glucose uptake and oxidation, G6P reduction, and increased protein-protein interaction between hexokinase II and mTOR. We validated the in silico modeling in cultured adult mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes by modulating PGI activity using erythrose 4-phosphate. Inhibition of glycolytic flux at the level of PGI caused G6P accumulation, which correlated with increased mTOR activation. Using click chemistry, we labeled newly synthesized proteins and confirmed that inhibition of PGI increases protein synthesis.

Conclusions:

The reduction of PGI activity directly affects myocyte growth by regulating mTOR activation.