Calcium control of glycogen synthase activities in mouse diaphragms, rat adipocytes and rat hepatocytes

Yoram Oron, Jane F. Emerson, James C. Garrison, Joseph Larner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The following article provides evidence that cellular calcium controls the activity of glycogen synthase in all three major glycogen storage tissues; muscle, fat, and liver. Depletion of cellular calcium resulted in a moderate increase of glycogen synthase %I activities in intact mouse diaphragms, in isolated rat adipocytes, and in rat hepatocytes. The increase in %I activity of glycogen synthase was more pronounced when the uridine di-phosphoglucose concentration in the glycogen synthase assay was lowered from 4.4 mM to 0.2 mM. Calcium depletion resulted in an approximately two-fold decrease in the Ka values for glucose-6-phosphate in all three tissues. The activities of glycogen synthase also correlated well with the content of cell-associated calcium in rat hepatocytes. The glucose-6-phosphate independent activities of glycogen synthase in extracts of calcium-replete and calcium-depleted tissue approached the same value following the exposure to crude phosphoprotein phosphatase. The activities of glycogen phosphorylase decreased in calcium-depleted tissues and cells. Insulin stimulated the activity of glycogen synthase in muscle and fat in the absence of added sugar and in the absence of extracellular calcium. It is concluded that glycogen synthase is under the control of calcium in the three main glycogen storage tissues. The actions of calcium are probably mediated through the actions of calcium-sensitive protein kinase(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
Number of pages16
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1984


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