1,4-Dideoxy-1,4-imino-D-arabinitol (DAB) was identified previously as a potent inhibitor of both the phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated forms of glycogen phosphorylase (EC 2.4.1.1). In the present study, the effects of DAB were investigated in primary cultured rat hepatocytes. The transport of DAB into hepatocytes was dependent on time and DAB concentration. The rate of DAB transport was 192 pmol/min per mg of protein per mM DABmedium-concentration. In hepatocytes, DAB inhibited basal and glucagon-stimulated glycogenolysis with IC50 values of 1.0±0.3 and 1.1±0.2 μM, respectively. The primary inhibitory effect of DAB on glycogenolysis was shown to be due to inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase but, at higher concentrations of DAB, inhibition of the debranching enzyme (4-α-glucanotransferase, EC 2.4.1.25) may have an effect. No effects on glycogen synthesis were observed, demonstrating that glycogen recycling does not occur in cultured hepatocytes under the conditions tested. Furthermore, DAB had no effects on phosphorylase kinase, the enzyme responsible for phosphorylation and thereby activation of glycogen phosphorylase, or on protein phosphatase 1, the enzyme responsible for inactivation of glycogen phosphorylase through dephosphorylation.

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Author notes

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Present address: Insmed Pharmaceuticals Inc., 800 E. Leigh St., Richmond, VA 23219, U.S.A.