Publications (42)145.76 Total impact

  • Peter J. Roach · Alexander V. Skurat · Robert A. Harris
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2010
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stbd1 is a protein of previously unknown function that is most prevalent in liver and muscle, the major sites for storage of the energy reserve glycogen. The protein is predicted to contain a hydrophobic N terminus and a C-terminal CBM20 glycan binding domain. Here, we show that Stbd1 binds to glycogen in vitro and that endogenous Stbd1 locates to perinuclear compartments in cultured mouse FL83B or Rat1 cells. When overexpressed in COSM9 cells, Stbd1 concentrated at enlarged perinuclear structures, co-localized with glycogen, the late endosomal/lysosomal marker LAMP1 and the autophagy protein GABARAPL1. Mutant Stbd1 lacking the N-terminal hydrophobic segment had a diffuse distribution throughout the cell. Point mutations in the CBM20 domain did not change the perinuclear localization of Stbd1, but glycogen was no longer concentrated in this compartment. Stable overexpression of glycogen synthase in Rat1WT4 cells resulted in accumulation of glycogen as massive perinuclear deposits, where a large fraction of the detectable Stbd1 co-localized. Starvation of Rat1WT4 cells for glucose resulted in dissipation of the massive glycogen stores into numerous and much smaller glycogen deposits that retained Stbd1. In vitro, in cells, and in animal models, Stbd1 consistently tracked with glycogen. We conclude that Stbd1 is involved in glycogen metabolism by binding to glycogen and anchoring it to membranes, thereby affecting its cellular localization and its intracellular trafficking to lysosomes.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein kinases are organized in hierarchical networks that are assembled and regulated by scaffold proteins. Here, we identify the evolutionary conserved WD40-repeat protein Han11 as an interactor of the kinase homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2). In vitro experiments showed the direct binding of Han11 to HIPK2, but also to the kinases DYRK1a, DYRK1b and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 1 (MEKK1). Han11 was required to allow coupling of MEKK1 to DYRK1 and HIPK2. Knockdown experiments in Caenorhabditis elegans showed the relevance of the Han11 orthologs Swan-1 and Swan-2 for the osmotic stress response. Downregulation of Han11 in human cells lowered the threshold and amplitude of HIPK2- and MEKK1-triggered signalling events and changed the kinetics of kinase induction. Han11 knockdown changed the amplitude and time dependence of HIPK2-driven transcription in response to DNA damage and also interfered with MEKK1-triggered gene expression and stress signalling. Impaired signal transmission also occurred upon interference with stoichiometrically assembled signalling complexes by Han11 overexpression. Collectively, these experiments identify Han11 as a novel scaffold protein regulating kinase signalling by HIPK2 and MEKK1.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · The EMBO Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lafora disease is a progressive myoclonus epilepsy with onset typically in the second decade of life and death within 10 years. Lafora bodies, deposits of abnormally branched, insoluble glycogen-like polymers, form in neurons, muscle, liver, and other tissues. Approximately half of the cases of Lafora disease result from mutations in the EPM2A gene, which encodes laforin, a member of the dual-specificity protein phosphatase family that additionally contains a glycogen binding domain. The molecular basis for the formation of Lafora bodies is completely unknown. Glycogen, a branched polymer of glucose, contains a small amount of covalently linked phosphate whose origin and function are obscure. We report here that recombinant laforin is able to release this phosphate in vitro, in a time-dependent reaction with an apparent K(m) for glycogen of 4.5 mg/ml. Mutations of laforin that disable the glycogen binding domain also eliminate its ability to dephosphorylate glycogen. We have also analyzed glycogen from a mouse model of Lafora disease, Epm2a(-/-) mice, which develop Lafora bodies in several tissues. Glycogen isolated from these mice had a 40% increase in the covalent phosphate content in liver and a 4-fold elevation in muscle. We propose that excessive phosphorylation of glycogen leads to aberrant branching and Lafora body formation. This study provides a molecular link between an observed biochemical property of laforin and the phenotype of a mouse model of Lafora disease. The results also have important implications for glycogen metabolism generally.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laforin, encoded by the EPM2A gene, by sequence is a member of the dual specificity protein phosphatase family. Mutations in the EPM2A gene account for around half of the cases of Lafora disease, an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive myoclonus epilepsy. The hallmark of the disease is the presence of Lafora bodies, which contain polyglucosan, a poorly branched form of glycogen, in neurons, muscle and other tissues. Glycogen metabolizing enzymes were analyzed in a transgenic mouse over-expressing a dominant negative form of laforin that accumulates Lafora bodies in several tissues. Skeletal muscle glycogen was increased 2-fold as was the total glycogen synthase protein. However, the -/+glucose-6-P activity of glycogen synthase was decreased from 0.29 to 0.16. Branching enzyme activity was increased by 30%. Glycogen phosphorylase activity was unchanged. In whole brain, no differences in glycogen synthase or branching enzyme activities were found. Although there were significant differences in enzyme activities in muscle, the results do not support the hypothesis that Lafora body formation is caused by a major change in the balance between glycogen elongation and branching activities.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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    Alexander V Skurat · Amy D Dietrich · Peter J Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogen synthase plays a key role in regulating glycogen metabolism. In a search for regulators of glycogen synthase, a yeast two-hybrid study was performed. Two glycogen synthase-interacting proteins were identified in human skeletal muscle, glycogenin-1, and nebulin. The interaction with glycogenin was found to be mediated by the region of glycogenin which contains the 33 COOH-terminal amino acid residues. The regions in glycogen synthase containing both NH2- and COOH-terminal phosphorylation sites are not involved in the interaction. The core segment of glycogen synthase from Glu21 to Gly503 does not bind COOH-terminal fragment of glycogenin. However, this region of glycogen synthase binds full-length glycogenin indicating that glycogenin contains at least one additional interacting site for glycogen synthase besides the COOH-terminus. We demonstrate that the COOH-terminal fragment of glycogenin can be used as an effective high affinity reagent for the purification of glycogen synthase from skeletal muscle and liver.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laforin, encoded by the EPM2A gene, is a dual specificity protein phosphatase that has a functional glycogen-binding domain. Mutations in the EPM2A gene account for around half of the cases of Lafora disease, an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive myoclonus epilepsy. The hallmark of the disease is the presence of Lafora bodies, which contain polyglucosan, a poorly branched form of glycogen, in neurons and other tissues. We examined the level of laforin protein in several mouse models in which muscle glycogen accumulation has been altered genetically. Mice with elevated muscle glycogen have increased laforin as judged by Western analysis. Mice completely lacking muscle glycogen or with 10% normal muscle glycogen had reduced laforin. Mice defective in the GAA gene encoding lysosomal alpha-glucosidase (acid maltase) overaccumulate glycogen in the lysosome but did not have elevated laforin. We propose, therefore, that laforin senses cytosolic glycogen accumulation which in turn determines the level of laforin protein.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The regulation of glycogen metabolism is critical for the maintenance of glucose and energy homeostasis in mammals. Glycogen synthase, the enzyme responsible for glycogen production, is regulated by multisite phosphorylation in yeast and mammals. We have previously identified PAS kinase as a physiological regulator of glycogen synthase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We provide evidence here that PAS kinase is an important regulator of mammalian glycogen synthase. Glycogen synthase is efficiently phosphorylated by PAS kinase in vitro at Ser-640, a known regulatory phosphosite. Efficient phosphorylation requires a region of PAS kinase outside the catalytic domain. This region appears to mediate a direct interaction between glycogen synthase and PAS kinase, thereby targeting kinase activity to this substrate specifically. This interaction is regulated by the PAS kinase PAS domain, raising the possibility that this interaction (and phosphorylation event) is modulated by the cellular metabolic state. This mode of regulation provides a mechanism for metabolic status to impinge directly on the cellular decision of whether to store or use available energy.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2005 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Alexander V Skurat · Amy D Dietrich
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogen synthase, a key enzyme in the regulation of glycogen synthesis by insulin, is controlled by multisite phosphorylation. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) phosphorylates four serine residues in the COOH terminus of glycogen synthase. Phosphorylation of one of these residues, Ser(640) (site 3a), causes strong inactivation of glycogen synthase. In previous work, we demonstrated in cell models that site 3a can be phosphorylated by an as yet unidentified protein kinase (3a-kinase) distinct from GSK-3. In the present study, we purified the 3a-kinase from rabbit skeletal muscle and identified one constituent polypeptide as HAN11, a WD40 domain protein with unknown function. Another polypeptide was identified as DYRK1A, a member of the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylated and regulated protein kinase (DYRK) family. Two isoforms of DYRK, DYRK1A and DYRK1B, co-immunoprecipitate with HAN11 when coexpressed in COS cells indicating that the proteins interact in mammalian cells. Co-expression of DYRK1A, DYRK1B, or DYRK2 with a series of glycogen synthase mutants with Ser/Ala substitutions at the phosphorylation sites in COS cells revealed that protein kinases cause phosphorylation of site 3a in glycogen synthase. To confirm that DYRKs directly phosphorylate glycogen synthase, recombinant DYRK1A, DYRK2, and glycogen synthase were produced in bacterial cells. In the presence of Mg-ATP, both DYRKs inactivated glycogen synthase by more than 10-fold. The inactivation correlated with phosphorylation of site 3a in glycogen synthase. These results indicate that protein kinase(s) from the DYRK family may be involved in a new mechanism for the regulation of glycogen synthesis.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Lanmin Zhai · Amy Dietrich · Alexander V Skurat · Peter J Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogenin is a self-glucosylating protein that initiates glycogen biosynthesis. We recently identified a family of proteins, GNIPs, that interact with glycogenin and stimulate its self-glucosylating activity [J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002) 19331]. The GNIP gene (also called TRIM7) encodes at least four distinct isoforms of GNIP, three of which (GNIP1, GNIP2, and GNIP3) have in common a COOH-terminal B30.2 domain and predicted coiled-coil regions. Based on Western blot analysis, the GNIP1 protein is widely distributed in tissues. From analysis of a series of deletion mutants of GNIP2 using the yeast two-hybrid system, the B30.2 domain was found to be responsible for the interaction with glycogenin. A truncated form of recombinant GNIP2, lacking the NH2-terminal coiled-coil region, was cross-linked to glycogenin by glutaraldehyde treatment, supporting the idea that the B30.2 domain was sufficient for the interaction. In the course of this study, GNIP2 was also found to interact with itself, via the coiled-coil domain. Heterologous interactions between GNIP1 and GNIP2 were also detected. Since glycogenin is also a dimer, higher order multimeric complexes between glycogenin and GNIPs would be possible.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogen, a branched polymer of glucose, serves as an energy reserve in many organisms. The degree of branching likely reflects the balance between the activities of glycogen synthase and branching enzyme. Mice overexpressing constitutively active glycogen synthase in skeletal muscle (GSL30) have elevated muscle glycogen. To test whether excess glycogen synthase activity affected glycogen branching, we examined the glycogen from skeletal muscle of GSL30 mice. The absorption spectrum of muscle glycogen determined in the presence of iodine was shifted to higher wavelengths in the GSL30 animals, consistent with a decrease in the degree of branching. As judged by Western blotting, the levels of glycogenin and the branching enzyme were also elevated. Branching enzyme activity also increased approximately threefold. However, this compared with an increase in glycogen synthase of some 50-fold, so that the increase in branching enzyme in response to overexpression of glycogen synthase was insufficient to synthesize normally branched glycogen.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2003 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
  • Alexander V Skurat · Amy D Dietrich · Lanmin Zhai · Peter J Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogenin is a self-glucosylating protein involved in the initiation of glycogen biosynthesis. Self-glucosylation leads to the formation of an oligosaccharide chain, which, when long enough, supports the action of glycogen synthase to elongate it and form a mature glycogen molecule. To identify possible regulators of glycogenin, the yeast two-hybrid strategy was employed. By using rabbit skeletal muscle glycogenin as a bait, cDNAs encoding three different proteins were isolated from the human skeletal muscle cDNA library. Two of the cDNAs encoded glycogenin and glycogen synthase, respectively, proteins known to be interactors. The third cDNA encoded a polypeptide of unknown function and was designated GNIP (glycogenin interacting protein). Northern blot analysis revealed that GNIP mRNA is highly expressed in skeletal muscle. The gene for GNIP generates at least four isoforms by alternative splicing. The largest isoform GNIP1 contains, from NH(2)- to COOH-terminal, a RING finger, a B box, a putative coiled-coil region, and a B30.2-like motif. The previously identified protein TRIM7 (tripartite motif containing protein 7) is also derived from the GNIP gene and is composed of the RING finger, B box, and coiled-coil regions. The GNIP2 and GNIP3 isoforms consist of the coiled-coil region and B30.2-like domain. Physical interaction between GNIP2 and glycogenin was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation, and in addition GNIP2 was shown to stimulate glycogenin self-glucosylation 3-4-fold. GNIPs may represent a novel participant in the initiation of glycogen synthesis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2002 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors previously reported the generation of a knockout mouse model of Pompe disease caused by the inherited deficiency of lysosomal acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA). The disorder in the knockout mice (GAA-/-) resembles the human disease closely, except that the clinical symptoms develop late relative to the lifespan of the animals. In an attempt to accelerate the course of the disease in the knockouts, the authors increased the level of cytoplasmic glycogen by overexpressing glycogen synthase (GSase) or GlutI glucose transporter. GAA-/- mice were crossed to transgenic mice overexpressing GSase or GlutI in skeletal muscle. Both transgenics on a GAA knockout background (GS/GAA-/- and GlutI/GAA-/-) developed a severe muscle wasting disorder with an early age at onset. This finding, however, is not the major focus of the study. Unexpectedly, the mice bearing the GSase transgene, but not those bearing the GlutI transgene, accumulated structurally abnormal polysaccharide (polyglucosan) similar to that observed in patients with Lafora disease, glycogenosis type IV, and glycogenosis type VII. Ultrastructurally, the periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive polysaccharide inclusions were composed of short, amorphous, irregular branching filaments indistinguishable from classic polyglucosan bodies. The authors show here that increased level of GSase in the presence of normal glycogen branching enzyme (GBE) activity leads to polyglucosan accumulation. The authors have further shown that inactivation of lysosomal acid alpha-glucosidase in the knockout mice does not contribute to the process of polyglucosan formation. An imbalance between GSase and GBE activities is proposed as the mechanism involved in the production of polyglucosan bodies. The authors may have inadvertently created a "muscle polyglucosan disease" by simulating the mechanism for polyglucosan formation.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2001 · Neurology
  • AD Dietrich · AV Skurat
    No preview · Article · Jun 2001 · Diabetes
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    Lanmin Zhai · Jill Schroeder · Alexander V. Skurat · Peter J. Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery of a second human gene, GYG2, encoding a liver-specific isoform of glycogenin, the self-glucosylating initiator of glycogen biosynthesis, raised the possibility for differential controls of this protein in liver and muscle. The new protein, glycogenin-2, had several properties similar biochemically to the muscle isoform, glycogenin-1, but unlike glycogenin-1, stable expression in fibroblasts led to a significant overaccumulation of glycogen. Ensuing attempts to generate reagents suitable for use with rodents, to examine the physiological regulation of glycogenin-2 by nutritional and hormonal factors, have been unsuccessful. Proof of a negative is difficult but the weight of the evidence is beginning to mitigate against the existence of a second glycogenin gene in rodents leading us to hypothesize that the presence of the GYG2 gene is limited to primates.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2001 · International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life
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    A V Skurat · A D Dietrich · P J Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In skeletal muscle, insulin activates glycogen synthase by reducing phosphorylation at both NH2- and COOH-terminal sites of the enzyme and by elevating the levels of glucose-6-phosphate, an allosteric activator of glycogen synthase. To study the mechanism of regulation of glycogen synthase by insulin and glucose-6-phosphate, we generated stable Rat-1 fibroblast clones expressing rabbit muscle glycogen synthase with Ser-->Ala substitutions at key phosphorylation sites. We found that 1) elimination of the phosphorylation of either NH2- or COOH-terminal sites did not abolish insulin stimulation of glycogen synthase; 2) mutations at both Ser-7 and Ser-640 were necessary to bypass insulin activation; 3) mutation at Ser-7, coupled with the disruption of the motif for recognition by glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), did not eliminate the insulin effect; and 4) mutation of either Ser-7 or Ser-640 increased the sensitivity of glycogen synthase to glucose 6-phosphate >10-fold. We conclude that Ser-7 and Ser-640 are both involved in mediating the response of glycogen synthase to insulin and activation by glucose 6-phosphate. In Rat-1 fibroblasts, GSK-3 action is not essential for glycogen synthase activation by insulin, and GSK-3-independent mechanisms also operate.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2000 · Diabetes
  • I Azpiazu · J Manchester · A V Skurat · P J Roach · J C Lawrence
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of transgenic overexpression of glycogen synthase in different types of fast-twitch muscle fibers were investigated in individual fibers from the anterior tibialis muscle. Glycogen synthase was severalfold higher in all transgenic fibers, although the extent of overexpression was twofold greater in type IIB fibers. Effects of the transgene on increasing glycogen and phosphorylase and on decreasing UDP-glucose were also more pronounced in type IIB fibers. However, in any grouping of fibers having equivalent malate dehydrogenase activity (an index of oxidative potential), glycogen was higher in the transgenic fibers. Thus increasing synthase is sufficient to enhance glycogen accumulation in all types of fast-twitch fibers. Effects on glucose transport and glycogen synthesis were investigated in experiments in which diaphragm, extensor digitorum longus (EDL), and soleus muscles were incubated in vitro. Transport was not increased by the transgene in any of the muscles. The transgene increased basal [(14)C]glucose into glycogen by 2.5-fold in the EDL, which is composed primarily of IIB fibers. The transgene also enhanced insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis in the diaphragm and soleus muscles, which are composed of oxidative fiber types. We conclude that increasing glycogen synthase activity increases the rate of glycogen synthesis in both oxidative and glycolytic fibers, implying that the control of glycogen accumulation by insulin in skeletal muscle is distributed between the glucose transport and glycogen synthase steps.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2000 · AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • P.J. Roach · C Cheng · D Huang · A Lin · J Mu · A.V. Skurat · W Wilson · L Zhai
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The storage polysaccharide glycogen is widely distributed in nature, from bacteria to mammals. Study of its regulated accumulation has resulted in the discovery or elaboration of several important biochemical principles. Many aspects of the control of glycogen storage still remain poorly understood and glycogen metabolism continues to provide interesting models of more general relevance.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1998 · Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology
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    J Mu · AV Skurat · P J Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogenin is a self-glucosylating protein involved in the initiation phase of glycogen biosynthesis. A single mammalian gene had been reported to account for glycogen biogenesis in liver and muscle, the two major repositories of glycogen. We describe the characterization of novel forms of glycogenin, designated glycogenin-2 (GN-2), encoded by a second gene that is expressed preferentially in certain tissues, including liver, heart, and pancreas. Cloning of cDNAs encoding glycogenin-2 indicated the existence of multiple species, including three liver forms (GN-2alpha, GN-2beta, and GN-2gamma) generated in part by alternative splicing. Overall, GN-2 has 40-45% identity to muscle glycogenin but is 72% identical over a 200-residue segment thought to contain the catalytic domain. GN-2 expressed in Escherichia coli or COS cells is active in self-glucosylation assays, and self-glucosylated GN-2 can be elongated by skeletal muscle glycogen synthase. Antibodies raised against GN-2 produced in E. coli recognized proteins of Mr approximately 66,000 present in extracts of rat liver and in cultured H4IIEC3 hepatoma cells. In H4IIEC3 cells, most of the GN-2 was present as a free protein but some was covalently associated with glycogen fractions and was only released by treatment with alpha-amylase. H4IIEC3 cells also expressed the muscle form of glycogenin (glycogenin-1), which was attached to a chromatographically separable glycogen fraction.
    Preview · Article · Nov 1997 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Alexander V. Skurat · Soo‐Siang Lim · Peter J. Roach
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogenin, a self-glucosylating protein involved in the initiation of glycogen biosynthesis, varies in intracellular concentration from barely detectable in liver to a high level in muscle. The effect of increasing the glycogenin level on glycogen synthesis was studied in rat 1 fibroblasts stably overexpressing rabbit muscle glycogenin. In the presence of glucose, all of the expressed glycogenin was attached to polysaccharide and the free protein could only be detected by western blot analysis after incubation of cells in a glucose-depleted medium or treatment of the cell extract with alpha-amylase. In control cells, increased extracellular glucose concentrations promoted translocation of glycogen synthase from the soluble to the pellet fraction with an increase in the associated glycogen. Overexpression of glycogenin did not affect total intracellular glycogen and glycogen synthase levels at any concentration of glucose but significantly reduced glucose-induced accumulation of insoluble glycogen and translocation of glycogen synthase. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed a diffuse cytoplasmic distribution of glycogenin expressed in rat 1 cells. In rat 1 cells incubated with glucose, discrete deposits of glycogen were detected by staining with HIO4/Schiff but this was eliminated by overexpressing glycogenin. Analysis of [14C]glucose- or [35S]methionine-labeled extracts from glycogenin-expressing cells by continuous polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed a continuum of glycogenin-containing species from low molecular mass to sizes significantly greater than 400 kDa. We conclude that (a) overexpression of glycogenin does not enhance glycogen synthesis but causes production of more, smaller, glycogen molecules with a concomitant change in their intracellular localization; (b) glycogenin and elevated glucose have opposing effects on the distribution of glycogenin and glycogen synthase in rat 1 cells; and (c) the biogenesis of glycogen in rat 1 cells occurs without the accumulation of any major intermediate form.
    Preview · Article · May 1997 · European Journal of Biochemistry