Glycogen and its metabolism: Some new developments and old themes

Peter J. Roach, Anna A. Depaoli-Roach, Thomas D. Hurley, Vincent S. Tagliabracci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

399 Scopus citations


Glycogen is a branched polymer of glucose that acts as a store of energy in times of nutritional sufficiency for utilization in times of need. Its metabolism has been the subject of extensive investigation and much is known about its regulation by hormones such as insulin, glucagon and adrenaline (epinephrine). There has been debate over the relative importance of allosteric compared with covalent control of the key biosynthetic enzyme, glycogen synthase, as well as the relative importance of glucose entry into cells compared with glycogen synthase regulation in determining glycogen accumulation. Significant new developments in eukaryotic glycogen metabolism over the last decade or so include: (i) three-dimensional structures of the biosynthetic enzymes glycogenin and glycogen synthase,with associated implications for mechanism and control; (ii) analyses of several genetically engineered mice with altered glycogen metabolism that shed light on the mechanism of control; (iii) greater appreciation of the spatial aspects of glycogenmetabolism, including more focus on the lysosomal degradation of glycogen; and (iv) glycogen phosphorylation and advances in the study of Lafora disease, which is emerging as a glycogen storage disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-787
Number of pages25
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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