Brain hexokinase is associated with the outer membrane of mitochondria, and its activity has been implicated in the regulation of ATP synthesis and apoptosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are by-products of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. Here we show that the ADP produced by hexokinase activity in rat brain mitochondria (mt-hexokinase) controls both membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)) and ROS generation. Exposing control mitochondria to glucose increased the rate of oxygen consumption and reduced the rate of hydrogen peroxide generation. Mitochondrial associated hexokinase activity also regulated DeltaPsi(m), because glucose stabilized low DeltaPsi(m) values in state 3. Interestingly, the addition of glucose 6-phosphate significantly reduced the time of state 3 persistence, leading to an increase in the DeltaPsi(m) and in H2O2 generation. The glucose analogue 2-deoxyglucose completely impaired H2O2 formation in state 3-state 4 transition. In sharp contrast, the mt-hexokinase-depleted mitochondria were, in all the above mentioned experiments, insensitive to glucose addition, indicating that the mt-hexokinase activity is pivotal in the homeostasis of the physiological functions of mitochondria. When mt-hexokinase-depleted mitochondria were incubated with exogenous yeast hexokinase, which is not able to bind to mitochondria, the rate of H2O2 generation reached levels similar to those exhibited by control mitochondria only when an excess of 10-fold more enzyme activity was supplemented. Hyperglycemia induced in embryonic rat brain cortical neurons increased ROS production due to a rise in the intracellular glucose 6-phosphate levels, which were decreased by the inclusion of 2-deoxyglucose, N-acetyl cysteine, or carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone. Taken together, the results presented here indicate for the first time that mt-hexokinase activity performed a key role as a preventive antioxidant against oxidative stress, reducing mitochondrial ROS generation through an ADP-recycling mechanism.
Última actualización: 22/10/2018