C isotope-based metabolic flux analysis revealing cellular landscape of glucose metabolism in human liver cells exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid.
Zhang Ruijia,Chen Baowei,Lin Li,Zhang Hui,Luan Tiangang
The Science of the total environment
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is well known to break glucose homeostasis. However, the effects of PFOA on glucose metabolism are difficult to be evaluated because related metabolites may be synthesized from other nutritional substrates. Here, the relative contribution of glucose to metabolites (e.g., pyruvate and citrate) in the PFOA-treated human liver cells (HepG2) was determined using the C isotope-based metabolic flux analysis (MFA), i.e., pathway activities. The relative percentage of [U-C] glucose-derived pyruvate in cells exposed to PFOA was not significantly different from that in the controls, indicating that the metabolic pattern of glycolysis was not substantially changed by PFOA. The pathway activity of [U-C] glucose-driven tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle was dramatically inhibited by PFOA. Consequently, mitochondrial respiratory function was phenotypically impaired by PFOA, as observed from the decreasing basal oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP-linked OCR and spare respiratory capacity. This study suggests that PFOA may cause the abnormal glucose metabolism via altering the metabolic pattern of TCA cycle instead of glycolysis. The MFA is strongly recommended as a promising and robust tool to address the toxicity mechanisms of contaminants associated with glucose metabolism.