The discovery of glycogenin and the priming mechanism for glycogen biogenesis

  • 39


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 126


    Citations of this article.


The biogenesis of glycogen in skeletal muscle requires a priming mechanism that has recently been elucidated. The first step is catalysed by a protein tyrosine glucosyltransferase and involves the formation of a novel glycosidic linkage, namely the covalent attachment of glucose to a single tyrosine residue (Tyr194) on a priming protein, termed glycogenin. The next stage is the extension of the glucan chain from Tyr194 and involves the sequential addition of up to seven further glucosyl residues. This reaction is brought about autocatalytically by glycogenin itself, which is a Mn2+/Mg(2+)-dependent UDP-Glc-requiring glucosyltransferase. The glucan primer is elongated by glycogen synthase, but only when glycogenin and glycogen synthase are complexed together. Glycogen synthase dissociates from glycogenin during the synthesis of a glycogen molecule, enabling glycogen molecules to reach their maximum theoretical size. Each mature glycogen beta particle in muscle contains one molecule of glycogenin attached covalently, and an average one glycogen synthase catalytic subunit bound non-covalently. As evidence accumulates that a priming protein may be a fundamental property of polysaccharide synthesis in general, the molecular details of mammalian glycogen biogenesis may serve as a useful model for other systems.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Carl SMYTHE

  • Philip COHEN

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free