Increased PFK activity and GLUT4 protein content in McArdle's disease
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Inborn errors of metabolism represent an opportunity to conduct studies in order to understand compensatory adaptations to a defective metabolic pathway. We evaluated the molecular and biochemical adaptations in substrate metabolism (glycolysis, electron transport chain, tricarboxylic acid cycle, beta-oxidation) in response to myophosphorylase deficiency in skeletal muscle from 13 patients with McArdle's disease (MD) and 13 age-matched controls. MD muscle had higher phosphofructokinase protein content and activity as well as glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) protein content and lower GLUT4 mRNA content than controls. At the protein level, skeletal muscle adaptations suggest an augmented glucose transport and glycolytic flux as a compensatory metabolic strategy to a chronic absence of muscle glycogen phosphorylase. These results support previous findings of increased glucose uptake during exercise and alleviation of symptoms with oral sucrose in patients with MD.
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