Hexokinase isozyme I is proposed to be associated with mitochondria in vivo. Moreover, it has been suggested that this association is modulated in coordination with changes in cell metabolic state. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed the subcellular distribution of hexokinase relative to mitochondria in paraformaldehyde-fixed astrocytes using immunocytochemistry and quantitative three-dimensional confocal microscopy. Analysis of the extent of colocalization between hexokinase and mitochondria revealed that ~70% of cellular hexokinase is associated with mitochondria under basal metabolic conditions. In contrast to the immunocytochemical studies, between 15 to 40% of cellular hexokinase was found to be associated with mitochondria after fractionation of astrocyte cultures depending on the exact fractionation conditions. The discrepancy between fractionation studies and those based on imaging of distributions in fixed cells indicates the usefulness of using techniques that can evaluate the distributions of 'cytosolic' enzymes in cells whose subcellular ultrastructure is not severely disrupted. To determine if hexokinase distribution is modulated in concert with changes in cell metabolism, the localization of hexokinase with mitochondria was evaluated after inhibition of glucose metabolism with 2-deoxyglucose. After incubation with 2-deoxyglucose there was an approximate 35% decrease in the amount of hexokinase associated with mitochondria. These findings support the hypothesis that hexokinase is bound to mitochondria in rat brain astrocytes in vivo, and that this association is sensitive to cell metabolic state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology