The Human Body

Sugar Metabolism: ENZYMES AND HORMONES

The interconversion between glucose and glycogen is catalyzed by a number of different enzymes. Phosphorylase is responsible for the release of glucose-1-phosphate from glycogen; the reaction is enhanced by the hormones adrenaline and glucagon. Glucose-1-phosphate is converted to glucose-6-phosphate, which can either be metabolized or converted to free glucose, which enters the bloodstream. The uptake of glucose by cells is stimulated by insulin. Before glucose is used it is converted to glucose-6-phosphate (by hexokinase), which may be metabolized or (in the liver and in muscle) converted to uridine diphosphate glucose. From the latter compound glucose is transferred to glycogen, in a reaction catalyzed by glycogen synthetase and stimulated by insulin. By as yet unknown mechanisms, cortical and pituitary hormones as well as thyroxin are also involved in the control of carbohydrate metabolism.

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