phosphorylase, glycogen, liver
The PYGL gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called liver glycogen phosphorylase. This enzyme breaks down a complex sugar called glycogen. Liver glycogen phosphorylase is one of three related enzymes that break down glycogen in cells; the other glycogen phosphorylases are found in the brain and in muscles. Liver glycogen phosphorylase is found only in liver cells, where it breaks down glycogen into a type of sugar called glucose-1-phosphate. Additional steps convert glucose-1-phosphate into glucose, a simple sugar that is the main energy source for most cells in the body.
At least 17 mutations in the PYGL gene have been found to cause glycogen storage disease type VI (GSDVI). Most mutations change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in liver glycogen phosphorylase, affecting the normal function of the enzyme. In the Old Order Mennonite population, a common mutation (written as 1620+1G>A) disrupts the way the PYGL gene's instructions are used to make the enzyme. A defective liver glycogen phosphorylase enzyme impairs the normal breakdown of glycogen. As a result, liver cells cannot use glycogen for energy, so liver function becomes impaired. A lack of glycogen breakdown within liver cells leads to the major features of GSDVI.
- glycogen phosphorylase, liver form
- Biochemistry (fifth edition, 2002): Glucose Regulation of Liver Glycogen Metabolism
- Biochemistry (fifth edition, 2002): Glycogen Metabolism in the Liver Regulates the Blood-Glucose Level
- Biochemistry (fifth edition, 2002): Phosphorylase Catalyzes the Phosphorolytic Cleavage of Glycogen to Release Glucose 1-phosphate