Question

Discuss the following problem. Phosphorylase kinase integrates signals from the cyclic-AMP-dependent and Ca2+^{2+}-dependent signaling pathways that control glycogen breakdown in liver and muscle cells. Phosphorylase kinase is composed of four subunits. One is the protein kinase that catalyzes the addition of phosphate to glycogen phosphorylase to activate it for glycogen breakdown. The other three subunits are regulatory proteins that control the activity of the catalytic subunit. Two contain sites for phosphorylation by PKA, which is activated by cyclic AMP. The remaining subunit is calmodulin, which binds Ca2+^{2+} when the cytosolic Ca2+^{2+} concentration rises. The regulatory subunits control the equilibrium between the active and inactive conformations of the catalytic subunit, with each phosphate and Ca2+^{2+} nudging the equilibrium toward the active conformation. How does this arrangement allow phosphorylase kinase to serve its role as an integrator protein for the multiple pathways that stimulate glycogen breakdown?

Solution

Verified

A rapid response is elicited in both cases. This is because the pathway modifies protein that is in the cell. But f the pathway modifies gene expression, a delayed activity will be observed. It will take more or less one hour to give a response.

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