Article

Glycogen autophagy in glucose homeostasis.

Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.
Pathology - Research and Practice (Impact Factor: 1.21). 02/2006; 202(9):631-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.prp.2006.04.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glycogen autophagy, the sequestration and degradation of cell glycogen in the autophagic vacuoles, is a selective, hormonally controlled and highly regulated process, representing a mechanism of glucose homeostasis under conditions of demand for the production of this sugar. In the newborn animals, this process is induced by glucagon secreted during the postnatal hypoglycemia and inhibited by insulin and parenteral glucose, which abolishes glucagon secretion. Hormonal action is mediated by the cAMP/protein kinase A (induction) and phosphoinositides/mTOR (inhibition) pathways that converge on common targets, such as the protein phosphatase 2A to regulate autophgosomal glycogen-hydrolyzing acid glucosidase and glycogen autophagy. Intralysosomal phosphate exchange reactions, which are affected by changes in the calcium levels and acid mannose 6- and acid glucose 6-phosphatase activities, can modify the intralysosomal composition in phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated glucose and promote the exit of free glucose through the lysosomal membrane. Glycogen autophagy-derived nonphosphorylated glucose assists the hyaloplasmic glycogen degradation-derived glucose 6-phosphate to combat postnatal hypoglycemia and participates in other metabolic pathways to secure the fine tuning of glucose homeostasis during the neonatal period.

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