Studies of gene expression and activity of hexokinase, phosphofructokinase and glycogen synthase in human skeletal muscle in states of altered insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism

38 Citationer (Scopus)


When whole body insulin-stimulated glucose disposal rate is measured in man applying the euglycaemic, hyperinsulinaemic clamp technique it has been shown that approximately 75% of glucose is taken up by skeletal muscle. After the initial transport step, glucose is rapidly phosphorylated to glucose-6-phosphate and routed into the major pathways of either glucose storage as glycogen or the glycolytic/tricarboxylic acid pathway. Glucose uptake in skeletal muscle involves-the activity of specific glucose transporters and hexokinases, whereas, phosphofructokinase and glycogen synthase hold critical roles in glucose oxidation/glycolysis and glucose storage, respectively. Glucose transporters and glycogen synthase activities are directly and acutely stimulated by insulin whereas the activities of hexokinases and phosphofructokinase may primarily be allosterically regulated. The aim of the review is to discuss our present knowledge of the activities and gene expression of hexokinase II (HKII), phosphofructokinase (PFK) and glycogen synthase (GS) in human skeletal muscle in states of altered insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism. My own experimental studies have comprised patients with disorders characterized by insulin resistance like non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) before and after therapeutic interventions, patients with microvascular angina and patients with severe insulin resistant diabetes mellitus and congenital muscle fiber type disproportion myopathy as well as athletes who are in a state of improved insulin sensitivity. By applying the glucose insulin clamp method in combination with nuclear magnetic resonance 31P spectroscopy to normoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic insulin resistant subjects impairment of insulin-stimulated glucose transport and/or phosphorylation in skeletal muscle has been shown. In states characterized by insulin resistance but normoglycaemia, the activity of HKII measured in needle revealed any genetic variability that contributes to explain the decreased muscle levels of GS mRNA or the decreased activity and activation of muscle GS in NIDDM patients and their glucose tolerant but insulin resistant relatives. Thus, the causes of impaired insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis of skeletal muscle in normoglycaemic insulin resistant subjects are likely to be found in the insulin signalling network proximal to the GS protein. In insulin resistant diabetic patients the impact of these yet unknown abnormalities may be accentuated by the prevailing hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia. Endurance training in young healthy subjects results in improved insulin-stimulated glucose disposal rates, predominantly due to an increased glycogen synthesis rate in muscle, which is paralleled by an increased total GS activity, increased GS mRNA levels and enhanced insulin-stimulated activation of GS. These changes are probably due to local contraction-dependent mechanisms. Likewise, one-legged exercise training has been reported to increase the basal concentration of muscle GS mRNA in NIDDM patients to a level similar to that seen in control subjects although insulin-stimulated glucose disposal rates remain reduced in NIDDM patients. In the insulin resistant states examined so far, basal and insulin-stimulated glucose oxidation rate at the whole body level and PFK activity in muscle are normal. In parallel, no changes have been found in skeletal muscle levels of PFK mRNA and immunoreactive protein in NIDDM or IDDM patients. In endurance trained subjects insulin-stimulated whole body glucose oxidation rate is often increased. However, depending on the intensity and frequency, physical exercise may induce an increased, a decreased or an unaltered level of muscle PFK activity. In athletes the muscle PFK mRNA is similar to what is found in sedentary subjects whereas the immunoreactive PFK protein concentration is decreased.

TidsskriftDanish Medical Bulletin (Online)
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)13-34
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - feb. 1999
Udgivet eksterntJa


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