Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:274 issue:2 pages:776-780
The regulation of glycogen synthesis and associated enzymes was studied in human myoblasts and myotubes maintained in culture. Both epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin stimulated glycogen synthesis approximately 2-fold, this stimulation being accompanied by a rapid and stable activation of the controlling enzyme glycogen synthase (GS). EGF also caused inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) and activation of the alpha isoform of protein kinase B (PKB) with the time-course and magnitude of its effects being similar to those induced by insulin. An inhibitor of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway did not prevent stimulation of GS by EGF, suggesting that this pathway is not essential for the effect. A partial decrease in the fold activation of GS was, however, observed when p70(S6k) activation was blocked with rapamycin, suggesting a contribution of this pathway to the control of GS by either hormone. Wortmannin, a selective inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI-3 kinase) completely blocked the effects of both EGF and insulin in these cells. These results demonstrate that EGF, like insulin, activates glycogen synthesis in muscle, acting principally via the PKB/GSK-3 pathway but with a contribution from a rapamycin-sensitive component that lies downstream of PI-3 kinase.