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The effect of glucose and of potassium ions on the interconversion of the two forms of glycogen phosphorylase and of glycogen synthetase in isolated rat liver preparations
In the isolated perfused rat liver, increasing glucose concentration from 5.5 to 55 mm in the perfusion medium caused a sequential inactivation of glycogen phosphorylase and activation of glycogen synthetase. The latter change was preceded by a lag period which corresponded to the time required to inactivate the major part of the phosphorylase. 2. The same sequence of events was observed in isolated rat hepatocytes incubated at 37C. In this preparation, the rate of phosphorylase inactivation was greatly increased by increasing the concentration of glucose and/or of K+ ions in the external medium. The same agents also caused the activation of glycogen synthetase, but this effect was secondary to the inactivation of phosphorylase. 3. In both types of preparations, the rate of synthetase activation was modulated by the residual amount of phosphorylase a that remained after the initial phase of rapid inactivation and was independent of glucose concentration. 4. In isolated hepatocytes, the rate of conversion of glucose into glycogen was propotional to the activity of synthetase a in the preparation. This conversion was preceded by a lag period which could be shortened by increasing either glucose or K+ concentration in the medium. The incorporation of labelled glucose into glycogen was simultaneous with a glycogenolytic process which could not be attributed to the activity of phosphorylase a.