Activities of glycogen synthase (GS) and GS phosphatase were determined on human muscle biopsies before and after isometric contraction at 2/3 maximal voluntary force. Total GS activity did not change during contraction (4.92 +/- 0.70 at rest versus 5.00 +/- 0.42 mmol/min per kg dry wt.; mean +/- S.E.M.), whereas both the active form of GS and the ratio of active form to total GS decreased by approximately 35% (P less than 0.01). GS phosphatase was inactivated in all subjects by an average of 39%, from 5.95 +/- 1.30 to 3.63 +/- 0.97 mmol/min per kg dry wt. (P less than 0.01). It is suggested that at least part of the contraction-induced inactivation of GS is due to an inactivation of GS phosphatase.

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