Dietary fructose improves intestinal cell survival and nutrient absorption

Publication Type Academic Article
Authors Taylor SR, Ramsamooj S, Liang RJ, Katti A, Pozovskiy R, Vasan N, Hwang SK, Nahiyaan N, Francoeur NJ, Schatoff EM, Johnson JL, Shah MA, Dannenberg AJ, Sebra RP, Dow LE, Cantley LC, Rhee KY, Goncalves MD
Journal Nature
Volume Sep;597
Issue 7875
Pagination 263-267
Date Published 08/18/2021
Abstract

Fructose consumption is linked to the rising incidence of obesity and cancer, which are two of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally1,2. Dietary fructose metabolism begins at the epithelium of the small intestine, where fructose is transported by glucose transporter type 5 (GLUT5; encoded by SLC2A5) and phosphorylated by ketohexokinase to form fructose 1-phosphate, which accumulates to high levels in the cell3,4. Although this pathway has been implicated in obesity and tumour promotion, the exact mechanism that drives these pathologies in the intestine remains unclear. Here we show that dietary fructose improves the survival of intestinal cells and increases intestinal villus length in several mouse models. The increase in villus length expands the surface area of the gut and increases nutrient absorption and adiposity in mice that are fed a high-fat diet. In hypoxic intestinal cells, fructose 1-phosphate inhibits the M2 isoform of pyruvate kinase to promote cell survival5-7. Genetic ablation of ketohexokinase or stimulation of pyruvate kinase prevents villus elongation and abolishes the nutrient absorption and tumour growth that are induced by feeding mice with high-fructose corn syrup. The ability of fructose to promote cell survival through an allosteric metabolite thus provides additional insights into the excess adiposity generated by a Western diet, and a compelling explanation for the promotion of tumour growth by high-fructose corn syrup.

DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03827-2
PubMed ID 34408323
PubMed Central ID PMC8686685
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