Proglycogen: A low-molecular-weight form of muscle glycogen

Joseph Lomako, Wieslawa M. Lomako, William J. Whelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We recently reported that muscle contains a trichloroacetic acid-precipitable component having Mr approx. 400 kDa that can be glucosylated by an endogenous enzyme acting on UDPglucose. This component contains within itself the autocatalytic, self glucosylating protein glycogenin, the primer for glycogen synthesis. We now report that this substance, to which we give the name proglycogen, is a glycogen-like molecule constituting about 15% or total glycogen. It acts as a very efficient acceptor of glucose residues added from UDPglucose. Further, that the endogenous enzyme that adds the glucose to proglycogen is not the autocatalytic protein but a glycogen synthase-like enzyme. Proglycogen may be an intermediate in the synthesis and degradation of macromolecular glycogen and may exist and be metabolized as a separate entity. Consideration should now be given to the revival of the concept that tissue contains two forms of glycogen. One is proglycogen. The other is the 'classical', macromolecular glycogen. Additionally, proglycogen and glycogen may be glucosylated by different forms of synthase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 25 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycogen biogenesis
  • Glycogenin
  • Proglycogen
  • Protein glucosylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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