Cells efficiently adjust their metabolism according to the abundance of nutrients and energy. The ability to switch cellular metabolism between anabolic and catabolic processes is critical for cell growth. Glucose-6 phosphate is the first intermediate of glucose metabolism and plays a central role in the energy metabolism of the liver. It acts as a hub to metabolically connect glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, glycogen synthesis, de novo lipogenesis, and the hexosamine pathway. In this review, we describe the metabolic fate of glucose-6 phosphate in a healthy liver and the metabolic reprogramming occurring in two pathologies characterized by a deregulation of glucose homeostasis, namely type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by fasting hyperglycemia; and glycogen storage disease type I, where patients develop severe hypoglycemia during short fasting periods. In these two conditions, dysfunction of glucose metabolism results in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which may possibly lead to the development of hepatic tumors. Moreover, we also emphasize the role of the transcription factor carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP), known to link glucose and lipid metabolisms. In this regard, comparing these two metabolic diseases is a fruitful approach to better understand the key role of glucose-6 phosphate in liver metabolism in health and disease.
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