Two distinct glycogen phosphorylase inhibitors, 5-chloro-1H-indole-2-carboxylic acid [1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-piperidin-1-yl)-2-oxoethyl]amide (CP-320,626) and 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-d-arabinitol (DAB), were characterized in vitro with respect to the influence of glucose on their potencies. CP-320,626 has previously been shown to bind to a newly characterized indole site, whereas DAB seems to act as a glucose analogue, but with slightly different properties from those of glucose. When analysed in pig liver glycogen phosphorylase a (GPa) activity assays, the two inhibitors showed very different properties. When GPa activity was measured in the physiological direction (glycogenolysis), DAB was the most potent inhibitor with an IC50 value of 740±9nM compared with the IC50 value for CP-320-626 of 2.39±0.37μM. There was no effect of glucose on the inhibitory properties of DAB, whereas a glucose analogue N-acetyl-β-d-glucopyranosylamine (1-GlcNAc) antagonized the effect of DAB. Likewise, there was no synergistic effect of CP-320,626 and glucose, whereas CP-320,626 and 1-GlcNAc inhibited GPa in synergy. Moreover, the synergistic effect of glucose and CP-320,626 was GPa-isoform-specific, since CP-320,626 and glucose inhibited rabbit muscle GPa in synergy when the GPa activity was measured towards glycogenolysis. When GPa activity was measured towards glycogen synthesis, CP-320,626 showed a synergistic effect with glucose, whereas the effect of DAB was slightly antagonized by glucose in this assay direction. Caffeine was included in the investigation as a control GP inhibitor, and both glucose and 1-GlcNAc potentiated the effect of caffeine independent of the assay direction. In primary cultured rat hepatocytes 1-GlcNAc and CP-320,626 inhibited basal and glucagon-induced glycogenolysis in synergy, whereas the ability of DAB to inhibit basal or glucagon-induced glycogenolysis was unaltered by 1-GlcNAc. Glucose had no effect on either CP-320,626 or DAB inhibition of glycogenolysis in cultured rat hepatocytes. In conclusion, the present study shows that the two GP inhibitors are kinetically very distinct and neither of the inhibitors demonstrates a physiologically relevant glucose dependence in vitro.

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