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Synthesis of glycogen from fructose in the presence of elevated levels of glycogen phosphorylase a in rat hepatocytes


Incubation of hepatocytes with glucose promoted the increase in the glycogen synthase (-glucose 6-phosphate/+glucose 6-phosphate) activity ratio, the decrease in the levels of phosphorylase a and a marked increase in the intracellular glycogen level. Incubation with fructose alone promoted the simultaneous activation of glycogen synthase and increase in the levels of phosphorylase a. Strikingly, glycogen deposition occurred in spite of the elevated levels of phosphorylase a. When glucose and fructose were added to the media the activation of glycogen synthase was always higher than when the hexoses were added separately. On the other hand the effects on glycogen phosphorylase were a function of the relative concentrations of both sugars. Inactivation of glycogen phosphorylase occurred when the fructose to glucose ratio was low while activation took place when the ratio was high. The simultaneous presence of glucose and fructose resulted, in all cases, in an enhancement in the deposition of glycogen. The effects described were not limited to fructose as D-glyceraldehyde, dihydroxyacetone, L-sorbose, D-tagatose and sorbitol, compounds metabolically related to fructose, provoked the same behaviour.

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Ciudad, C.J., Massagué, J., Salavert, A. et al. Synthesis of glycogen from fructose in the presence of elevated levels of glycogen phosphorylase a in rat hepatocytes. Mol Cell Biochem 30, 33–38 (1980).

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  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Sorbitol
  • Hexose
  • Phosphorylase