Molecular mechanisms of glycogen particle assembly in Escherichia coli


It has been reported that glycogen in Escherichia coli have two structural states, that is, fragility and stability, which alters dynamically. However, molecular mechanisms behind the structural alterations are not fully understood. In this study, we focused on the potential roles of two important glycogen degradation enzymes, glycogen phosphorylase (glgP) and glycogen debranching enzyme (glgX), in glycogen structural alterations. The fine molecular structure of glycogen particles in Escherichia coli and three mutants (ΔglgP, ΔglgX and ΔglgP/ΔglgX) were examined, which showed that glycogen in E. coli ΔglgP and E. coli ΔglgP/ΔglgX were consistently fragile while being consistently stable in E. coli ΔglgX, indicating the dominant role of GP in glycogen structural stability control. In sum, our study concludes that glycogen phosphorylase is essential in glycogen structural stability, leading to molecular insights into structural assembly of glycogen particles in E. coli.