Expression and knockdown analysis of glucose phosphate isomerase in chicken primordial germ cells.
ABSTRACT Glucose is an important monosaccharide required to generate energy in all cells. After entry into cells, glucose is phosphorylated to glucose-6-phosphate and then transformed into glycogen or metabolized to produce energy. Glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI) catalyzes the reversible isomerization of glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate. Without GPI activity or fructose-6-phosphate, many steps of glucose metabolism would not occur. The requirement for GPI activity for normal functioning of primordial germ cells (PGCs) needs to be identified. In this study, we first examined the expression of chicken GPI during early embryonic development and germ cell development. GPI expression was strongly and ubiquitously detected in chicken early embryos and embryonic tissues at Embryonic Day 6.5 (E6.5). Continuous GPI expression was detected in PGCs and germ cells of both sexes during gonadal development. Specifically, GPI expression was stronger in male germ cells than in female germ cells during embryonic development and the majority of post-hatching development. Then, we used siRNA-1499 to knock down GPI expression in PGCs. siRNA-1499 caused an 85% knockdown in GPI, and PGC proliferation was also affected 48 h after transfection. We further examined the knockdown effects on 28 genes related to the glycolysis/gluconeogenesis pathway and the endogenous glucose level in chicken PGCs. Among genes related to glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, 20 genes showed approximately 3-fold lower expression, 4 showed approximately 10-fold lower, and 2 showed approximately 100-fold lower expression in knockdown PGCs. The endogenous glucose level was significantly reduced in knockdown PGCs. We conclude that the GPI gene is crucial for maintaining glycolysis and supplying energy to developing PGCs.