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Adv Enzyme Regul. 1993;33:71-95.

Mechanisms involved in the coordinate regulation of strategic enzymes of glucose metabolism.

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Department of Biochemistry (Basic Medical Sciences), Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, U.K.


In this review, we evaluate the relative regulatory importance of specific strategic enzymes (in particular glycogen synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase [ACC] and the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex [PDH]) for carbohydrate utilization as an anabolic precursor and as an energy substrate during the nutritional transitions between the fed and fasted states. The involvement of the specific protein kinases contributing to the inactivation of these enzymes by phosphorylation [cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, AMP-activated protein kinase and PDH kinase] in achieving each regulatory response is also assessed. We demonstrate a striking temporal correlation between hepatic glycogen mobilization and PDH and ACC inactivation by phosphorylation during the immediate postabsorptive period; in contrast, rates of hepatic glycogen synthesis and PDH and ACC expressed activities do not change in parallel during refeeding. The results are consistent with shifting of the primary sites of control for overall hepatic carbon flux during the fed-to-starved and starved-to-fed nutritional transitions achieved, at least in part, by a complex pattern of regulation by protein phosphorylation and metabolites which is critically dependent on the precise nutritional status. Data are also presented that demonstrate asynchronous suppression of glucose uptake/phosphorylation and pyruvate oxidation in cardiac and skeletal muscle during progressive starvation. Analogous asynchrony is observed in the reactivation of these processes in cardiac and skeletal muscle during refeeding after starvation. We provide evidence in support of the concept that selective suppression of pyruvate oxidation in oxidative muscles during early starvation and during the initial phase of refeeding is achieved because of differential sensitivity of glucose uptake/phosphorylation and pyruvate oxidation to lipid-fuel utilization. We discuss the relative importance of regulatory events governing local fatty acid production and utilization (via lipoprotein lipase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1, respectively) or overall fatty acid supply (dictated by events at the adipocyte) for fuel utilization by muscle during nutritional transitions. Finally, we assess the regulatory importance of glycogen synthesis in determining overall rates of glucose clearance by skeletal muscle during alimentary hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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