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J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 18;280(7):5510-5. Epub 2004 Dec 13.

Effects of insulin and transgenic overexpression of UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase on UDP-glucose and glycogen accumulation in skeletal muscle fibers.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1300 Jefferson Park Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


UDP-glucose (UDP-Glc) and glycogen levels in skeletal muscle fibers of defined fiber type were measured using microanalytical methods. Infusing rats with insulin increased glycogen in both Type I and Type II fibers. Insulin was without effect on UDP-Glc in Type I fibers but decreased UDP-Glc by 35-40% in Type IIA/D and Type IIB fibers. The reduction in UDP-Glc suggested that UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase (PPL) activity might limit glycogen synthesis in response to insulin. To explore this possibility, we generated mice overexpressing a UDP-Glc PPL transgene in skeletal muscle. The transgene increased both UDP-Glc PPL activity and levels of UDP-Glc in skeletal muscles by approximately 3-fold. However, overexpression of UDP-Glc PPL was without effect on either the levels of skeletal muscle glycogen or glucose tolerance in vivo. The transgene was also without effect on either control or insulin-stimulated rates of (14)C-glucose incorporation into glycogen in muscles incubated in vitro. The results indicate that UDP-Glc PPL activity is not limiting for glycogen synthesis.

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