bims-glecem Biomed News
on Glycogen metabolism in exercise, cancer and energy metabolism
Issue of 2023‒02‒26
six papers selected by
Dipsikha Biswas
University of Copenhagen

  1. Biomedicines. 2023 Jan 26. pii: 363. [Epub ahead of print]11(2):
      Glycogen storage disease type IV (GSD IV) is an ultra-rare autosomal recessive disease caused by variants in the GBE1 gene, which encodes the glycogen branching enzyme (GBE). GSD IV accounts for approximately 3% of all GSD. The phenotype of GSD IV ranges from neonatal death to mild adult-onset disease with variable hepatic, muscular, neurologic, dermatologic, and cardiac involvement. There is a paucity of literature and clinical and dietary management in GSD IV, and liver transplantation (LT) is described to correct the primary hepatic enzyme defect. Objectives: We herein describe five cases of patients with GSD IV with different ages of onset and outcomes as well as a novel GBE1 variant. Methods: This is a descriptive case series of patients receiving care for GSD IV at Reference Centers for Rare Diseases in Brazil and in the United States of America. Patients were selected based on confirmatory GBE1 genotypes performed after strong clinical suspicion. Results: Pt #1 is a Latin male with the chief complaints of hepatosplenomegaly, failure to thrive, and elevated liver enzymes starting at the age of 5 months. Before LT at the age of two, empirical treatment with corn starch (CS) and high protein therapy was performed with subjective improvement in his overall disposition and liver size. Pt #2 is a 30-month-old Afro-American descent patient with the chief complaints of failure to gain adequate weight, hypotonia, and hepatosplenomegaly at the age of 15 months. Treatment with CS was initiated without overall improvement of the symptoms. Pt #3.1 is a female Latin patient, sister to pt #3.2, with onset of symptoms at the age of 3 months with bloody diarrhea, abdominal distention, and splenomegaly. There was no attempt of treatment with CS. Pt #4 is an 8-year-old male patient of European descent who had his initial evaluation at 12 months, which was remarkable for hepatosplenomegaly, elevated ALT and AST levels, and a moderate dilatation of the left ventricle with normal systolic function that improved after LT. Pt #1, #3.2 and #4 presented with high levels of chitotriosidase. Pt #2 was found to have the novel variant c.826G > C p.(Ala276Pro). Conclusions: GSD IV is a rare disease with different ages of presentation and different cardiac phenotypes, which is associated with high levels of chitotriosidase. Attempts of dietary intervention with CS did not show a clear improvement in our case series.
    Keywords:  dietary treatment; glycogen storage disease IV; liver transplantation
  2. Mol Ther. 2023 Feb 18. pii: S1525-0016(23)00077-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gene therapy with an adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) vector (AAV8-LSPhGAA) could eliminate the need for enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) by creating a liver depot for acid α-glucosidase (GAA) production. We report initial safety and bioactivity of the first dose (1.6x1012 vector genomes/kg) cohort (n=3) in a 52-week open-label, single-dose, dose-escalation study (NCT03533673) in patients with late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD). Subjects continued bi-weekly ERT until Week 26 based on the detection of elevated serum GAA activity and the absence of clinically significant declines per protocol. Prednisone (60 mg/day) was administered as immunoprophylaxis through Week 4, followed by an 11-week taper. All subjects demonstrated sustained serum GAA activities from 101% to 235% of baseline trough activity two weeks following the preceding ERT dose. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events. No subject had anti-capsid T cell responses that decreased transgene expression. Muscle biopsy at Week 24 revealed unchanged muscle glycogen content in two of 3 subjects. At Week 52 muscle GAA activity for the cohort was significantly increased (p<0.05). Overall, these initial data support the safety and bioactivity of AAV8-LSPhGAA, the safety of withdrawing ERT, successful immunoprophylaxis, and justify continued clinical development of AAV8-LSPhGAA therapy in Pompe disease.
  3. Biology (Basel). 2023 Feb 03. pii: 242. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
      The enzyme aromatase is expressed at high levels in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN), a principal component of the brain gluco-regulatory network. Current research utilized selective gene knockdown tools to investigate the premise that VMN neuroestradiol controls glucostasis. Intra-VMN aromatase siRNA administration decreased baseline aromatase protein expression and tissue estradiol concentrations and either reversed or attenuated the hypoglycemic regulation of these profiles in a VMN segment-specific manner. Aromatase gene repression down-regulated protein biomarkers for gluco-stimulatory (nitric oxide; NO) and -inhibitory (gamma-aminobutyric acid; GABA) neurochemical transmitters. Insulin-induced hypoglycemia (IIH) up- or down-regulated neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and glutamate decarboxylase65/67 (GAD), respectively, throughout the VMN. Interestingly, IIH caused divergent changes in tissue aromatase and estradiol levels in rostral (diminished) versus middle and caudal (elevated) VMN. Aromatase knockdown prevented hypoglycemic nNOS augmentation in VMN middle and caudal segments, but abolished the GAD inhibitory response to IIH throughout this nucleus. VMN nitrergic and GABAergic neurons monitor stimulus-specific glycogen breakdown. Here, glycogen synthase (GS) and phosphorylase brain- (GPbb; AMP-sensitive) and muscle- (GPmm; noradrenergic -responsive) type isoform responses to aromatase siRNA were evaluated. Aromatase repression reduced GPbb and GPmm content in euglycemic controls and prevented hypoglycemic regulation of GPmm but not GPbb expression while reversing glycogen accumulation. Aromatase siRNA elevated baseline glucagon and corticosterone secretion and abolished hypoglycemic hyperglucagonemia and hypercorticosteronemia. Outcomes document the involvement of VMN neuroestradiol signaling in brain control of glucose homeostasis. Aromatase regulation of VMN gluco-regulatory signaling of hypoglycemia-associated energy imbalance may entail, in part, control of GP variant-mediated glycogen disassembly.
    Keywords:  aromatase; gene knockdown; glutamate decarboxylase; insulin-induced hypoglycemia; neuronal nitric oxide synthase; ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus
  4. Development. 2023 Feb 21. pii: dev.201423. [Epub ahead of print]
      Animal embryos are provisioned by their mothers with a diverse nutrient supply critical for development. In Drosophila, the three most abundant nutrients (triglycerides, proteins, and glycogen) are sequestered in distinct storage structures, lipid droplets (LDs), yolk vesicles (YVs) and glycogen granules (GGs). Using transmission electron microscopy as well as live and fixed-sample fluorescence imaging, we find that all three storage structures are dispersed throughout the egg but are then spatially allocated to distinct tissues by gastrulation: LDs largely to the peripheral epithelium, YVs and GGs to the central yolk cell. To confound the embryo's ability to sort its nutrients, we employ mutants in Jabba and Mauve to generate LD:GG or LD:YV compound structures. In these mutants, LDs are missorted to the yolk cell and their turnover is delayed. Our observations demonstrate dramatic spatial nutrient sorting in early embryos and provide the first evidence for its functional importance.
    Keywords:  Developmental metabolism; Embryogenesis; Glycogen; Lipid droplets
  5. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2023 Feb 22.
      Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) remains a therapeutic target of interest for diverse clinical indications. However, one hurdle in the development of small molecule GSK3 inhibitors has been safety concerns related to pan-inhibition of both GSK3 paralogs, leading to activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and potential for aberrant cell proliferation. Development of GSK3α or GSK3β paralog-selective inhibitors that could offer an improved safety profile has been reported but further advancement has been hampered by the lack of structural information for GSK3α. Here we report for the first time the crystal structure for GSK3α, both in apo form and bound to a paralog-selective inhibitor. Taking advantage of this new structural information, we describe the design and in vitro testing of novel compounds with up to ∼37-fold selectivity for GSK3α over GSK3β with favorable drug-like properties. Furthermore, using chemoproteomics, we confirm that acute inhibition of GSK3α can lower tau phosphorylation at disease-relevant sites in vivo, with a high degree of selectivity over GSK3β and other kinases. Altogether, our studies advance prior efforts to develop GSK3 inhibitors by describing GSK3α structure and novel GSK3α inhibitors with improved selectivity, potency, and activity in disease-relevant systems.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer’s; GSK3α; GSK3β; kinase inhibitor; tau; β-catenin
  6. Glia. 2023 Feb 22.
      Astrocytic responses are critical for the maintenance of neuronal networks in health and disease. In stroke, reactive astrocytes undergo functional changes potentially contributing to secondary neurodegeneration, but the mechanisms of astrocyte-mediated neurotoxicity remain elusive. Here, we investigated metabolic reprogramming in astrocytes following ischemia-reperfusion in vitro, explored their role in synaptic degeneration, and verified the key findings in a mouse model of stroke. Using indirect cocultures of primary mouse astrocytes and neurons, we demonstrate that transcription factor STAT3 controls metabolic switching in ischemic astrocytes promoting lactate-directed glycolysis and hindering mitochondrial function. Upregulation of astrocytic STAT3 signaling associated with nuclear translocation of pyruvate kinase isoform M2 and hypoxia response element activation. Reprogrammed thereby, the ischemic astrocytes induced mitochondrial respiration failure in neurons and triggered glutamatergic synapse loss, which was prevented by inhibiting astrocytic STAT3 signaling with Stattic. The rescuing effect of Stattic relied on the ability of astrocytes to utilize glycogen bodies as an alternative metabolic source supporting mitochondrial function. After focal cerebral ischemia in mice, astrocytic STAT3 activation was associated with secondary synaptic degeneration in the perilesional cortex. Inflammatory preconditioning with LPS increased astrocytic glycogen content, reduced synaptic degeneration, and promoted neuroprotection post stroke. Our data indicate the central role of STAT3 signaling and glycogen usage in reactive astrogliosis and suggest novel targets for restorative stroke therapy.
    Keywords:  astrocyte-neuronal interaction; cerebral ischemia; glycolysis; metabolic reprogramming; neuroprotection; oxidative phosphorylation; synaptic degeneration