Overexpression of hexokinase 2 reduces mitochondrial calcium overload in coronary endothelial cells of type 2 diabetic mice

Minglin Pan, Ying Han, Aninda Basu, Anzhi Dai, Rui Si, Conor Willson, Angela Balistrieri, Brian T. Scott, Ayako Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Coronary microvascular rarefaction, due to endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction, is one of the causes of increased morbidity and mortality in diabetes. Coronary ECs in diabetes are more apoptotic due partly to mitochondrial calcium overload. This study was designed to investigate the role of hexokinase 2 (HK2, an endogenous inhibitor of voltage-dependent anion channel) in coronary endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. We used mouse coronary ECs (MCECs) isolated from type 2 diabetic mice and human coronary ECs (HCECs) from type 2 diabetic patients to examine protein levels and mitochondrial function. ECs were more apoptotic and capillary density was lower in the left ventricle of diabetic mice than the control. MCECs from diabetic mice exhibited significant increase in mitochondrial Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca 2+ ] mito ) compared with the control. Among several regulatory proteins for [Ca 2+ ] mito , hexokinase 1 (HK1) and HK2 were significantly lower in MCECs from diabetic mice than control MCECs. We also found that the level of HK2 ubiquitination was higher in MCECs from diabetic mice than in control MCECs. In line with the data from MCECs, HCECs from diabetic patients showed lower HK2 protein levels than HCECs from nondiabetic patients. High-glucose treatment, but not high-fat treatment, significantly decreased HK2 protein levels in MCECs. HK2 overexpression in MCECs of diabetic mice not only lowered the level of [Ca 2+ ] mito , but also reduced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production toward the level seen in control MCECs. These data suggest that HK2 is a potential therapeutic target for coronary microvascular disease in diabetes by restoring mitochondrial function in coronary ECs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C732-C740
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • HK2
  • Mitochondrial Ca overload
  • ROS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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