PPP1R6 is a protein phosphatase 1 glycogen-targeting subunit (PP1-GTS) abundant in skeletal muscle with an undefined metabolic control role. Here PPP1R6 effects on myotube glycogen metabolism, particle size and subcellular distribution are examined and compared with PPP1R3C/PTG and PPP1R3A/GM.
PPP1R6 overexpression activates glycogen synthase (GS), reduces its phosphorylation at Ser-641/0 and increases the extracted and cytochemically-stained glycogen content, less than PTG but more than GM. PPP1R6 does not change glycogen phosphorylase activity. All tested PP1-GTS-cells have more glycogen particles than controls as found by electron microscopy of myotube sections. Glycogen particle size is distributed for all cell-types in a continuous range, but PPP1R6 forms smaller particles (mean diameter 14.4 nm) than PTG (36.9 nm) and GM (28.3 nm) or those in control cells (29.2 nm). Both PPP1R6- and GM-derived glycogen particles are in cytosol associated with cellular structures; PTG-derived glycogen is found in membrane- and organelle-devoid cytosolic glycogen-rich areas; and glycogen particles are dispersed in the cytosol in control cells. A tagged PPP1R6 protein at the C-terminus with EGFP shows a diffuse cytosol pattern in glucose-replete and -depleted cells and a punctuate pattern surrounding the nucleus in glucose-depleted cells, which colocates with RFP tagged with the Golgi targeting domain of β-1,4-galactosyltransferase, according to a computational prediction for PPP1R6 Golgi location.
PPP1R6 exerts a powerful glycogenic effect in cultured muscle cells, more than GM and less than PTG. PPP1R6 protein translocates from a Golgi to cytosolic location in response to glucose. The molecular size and subcellular location of myotube glycogen particles is determined by the PPP1R6, PTG and GM scaffolding.