The Stimulation-Induced Increase in Skeletal Muscle Glycogen Synthase Content Is Impaired in Carriers of the Glycogen Synthase XbaI Gene Polymorphism

  1. Josée St-Onge,
  2. Denis R. Joanisse and
  3. Jean-Aimé Simoneau
  1. From the Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Denis R. Joanisse, PhD, Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Room 0223 PEPS, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4. Email: denis.joanisse{at}kin.msp.ulaval.ca .

Abstract

Associations between glycogen synthase gene (GYS1) polymorphism and states of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes have been reported. The purpose of this study was to establish if the GYS1 genotype impacts on the content of glycogen synthase (GS) protein in muscle measured under basal and stimulated conditions. To examine this, GYS1 XbaI and Met416Val polymorphisms and thigh muscle GYS1 protein content were determined at rest, both before and after several weeks of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in carriers and noncarriers of the mutations. The allelic frequency was 0.086 for the XbaI mutation (A2) and 0.006 for the Met416Val in our cohort of French-Canadian subjects. When measured at rest, the GS protein content in muscle was similar among carriers and noncarriers of the XbaI variant. However, the stimulation-induced increase (23%) in the amount of GS muscle protein normally seen in wild-type individuals was impaired in those carrying the XbaI mutation. These data demonstrate that some individuals, because of their genetic background, are unable to stimulate the process of GS protein accumulation in skeletal muscle. These results could explain why some individuals appear to be genetically predisposed to developing skeletal muscle insulin resistance when exposed to unfavorable metabolic environments.

Footnotes

  • J.-A.S. is deceased.

  • CK, creatine kinase; COX, cytochrome c oxidase; GS, glycogen synthase; NMES, neuromuscular electrical stimulation; PCR, polymerase chain reaction; TBST, Tris-buffered saline with Tween.

    • Accepted September 8, 2000.
    • Received April 13, 2000.
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