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FEBS Lett. 1993 Aug 30;329(3):263-7.

Glycogen contains phosphodiester groups that can be introduced by UDPglucose: glycogen glucose 1-phosphotransferase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Miami, FL 33101.


Rabbit-muscle glycogen contains covalently bound phosphorus, equivalent to 1 phosphate group per 208 glucose residues. This often disputed, minor component was previously thought to represent a phosphomonoester group at C-6 of a glucose residue. Here we show that more than half the phosphorus is present as a phosphodiester, the remainder being monoester. A novel enzyme activity has been found in muscle that can account for the presence of the phosphodiester in glycogen. This is a UDPglucose: glycogen glucose 1-phosphotransferase that positions glucose 1-phosphate on C-6 of glucose residues in glycogen, forming a diester. The phosphomonoester groups present may arise by removal of the glucose residue originally transferred as glucose 1-phosphate.

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