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J Biol Chem. 2001 Oct 26;276(43):39959-67. Epub 2001 Aug 24.

The muscle-specific protein phosphatase PP1G/R(GL)(G(M))is essential for activation of glycogen synthase by exercise.

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Research Division, Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


In skeletal muscle both insulin and contractile activity are physiological stimuli for glycogen synthesis, which is thought to result in part from the dephosphorylation and activation of glycogen synthase (GS). PP1G/R(GL)(G(M)) is a glycogen/sarcoplasmic reticulum-associated type 1 phosphatase that was originally postulated to mediate insulin control of glycogen metabolism. However, we recently showed (Suzuki, Y., Lanner, C., Kim, J.-H., Vilardo, P. G., Zhang, H., Jie Yang, J., Cooper, L. D., Steele, M., Kennedy, A., Bock, C., Scrimgeour, A., Lawrence, J. C. Jr., L., and DePaoli-Roach, A. A. (2001) Mol. Cell. Biol. 21, 2683-2694) that insulin activates GS in muscle of R(GL)(G(M)) knockout (KO) mice similarly to the wild type (WT). To determine whether PP1G is involved in glycogen metabolism during muscle contractions, R(GL) KO and overexpressors (OE) were subjected to two models of contraction, in vivo treadmill running and in situ electrical stimulation. Both procedures resulted in a 2-fold increase in the GS -/+ glucose-6-P activity ratio in WT mice, but this response was completely absent in the KO mice. The KO mice, which also have a reduced GS activity associated with significantly reduced basal glycogen levels, exhibited impaired maximal exercise capacity, but contraction-induced activation of glucose transport was unaffected. The R(GL) OE mice are characterized by enhanced GS activity ratio and an approximately 3-4-fold increase in glycogen content in skeletal muscle. These animals were able to tolerate exercise normally. Stimulation of GS and glucose uptake following muscle contraction was not significantly different as compared with WT littermates. These results indicate that although PP1G/R(GL) is not necessary for activation of GS by insulin, it is essential for regulation of glycogen metabolism under basal conditions and in response to contractile activity, and may explain the reduced muscle glycogen content in the R(GL) KO mice, despite the normal insulin activation of GS.

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