1. Livers from gsd/gsd rats, which do not express phosphorylase kinase activity, also contain much less particulate type-1 protein phosphatases. In comparison with normal Wistar rats, the glycogen/microsomal fraction contained 75% less glycogen-synthase phosphatase and 60% less phosphorylase phosphatase activity. This was largely due to a lower amount of the type-1 catalytic subunit in the particulate fraction. In the cytosol, the synthase phosphatase activity was also 50% lower, but the phosphorylase phosphatase activity was equal. 2. Both Wistar rats and gsd/gsd rats responded to an intravenous injection of insulin plus glucose with an acute increase (by 30-40%) in the phosphorylase phosphatase activity in the liver cytosol. In contrast, administration of glucagon or vasopressin provoked a rapid fall (by about 25%) in the cytosolic phosphorylase phosphatase activity in Wistar rats, but no change occurred in gsd/gsd rats. 3. Phosphorylase kinase was partially purified from liver and subsequently activated. Addition of a physiological amount of the activated enzyme to a liver cytosol from Wistar rats decreased the V of the phosphorylase phosphatase reaction by half, whereas the non-activated kinase had no effect. The kinase preparations did not change the activity of glycogen-synthase phosphatase, which does not respond to glucagon or vasopressin. Furthermore, the phosphorylase phosphatase activity was not affected by addition of physiological concentrations of homogeneous phosphorylase kinase from skeletal muscle (activated or non-activated). 4. It appears therefore that phosphorylase kinase plays an essential role in the transduction of the effect of glucagon and vasopressin to phosphorylase phosphatase. However, this inhibitory effect either is specific for the hepatic phosphorylase kinase, or is mediated by an unidentified protein that is a specific substrate of phosphorylase kinase.

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