Effects of lithium ions on glycogen synthase and phosphorylase in rat hepatocytes

F. Bosch, A. M. Gomez-Foix, J. Arino, J. J. Guinovart

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Abstract

Incubation of hepatocytes from fasted rats with LiCl provoked a concentration- and time-dependent activation of glycogen synthase. This effect was observed in the absence of glucose in the incubation medium. No changes in the intracellular concentrations of ATP or glucose-6-phosphate were detected. Lithium was also able to activate glycogen synthase in the absence of extracellular calcium. If hepatocytes were incubated with lithium and insulin, an additive effect of both agents on glycogen synthase activity was observed. LiCl was also effective in activating the enzyme in hepatocytes obtained from fed rats. When hepatocytes were incubated with [33P]phosphate and then treated with LiCl, a decrease in the amount of [32P]phosphate incorporated in the enzyme was observed. This dephosphorylation affected two CNBr fragments of the enzyme (CB-2 and CB-1), suggesting that several phosphorylation sites were involved. Lithium was also able to activate glycogen phosphorylase from both fasted and fed rats. Phosphorylase activation was concentration- and time-dependent, either in the presence or absence of calcium in the incubation medium. These findings demonstrate that although lithium appears to mimic the effects of insulin on glycogen synthase activity, its mechanism of action must be different from that of the hormone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16927-16931
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume261
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1986

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