Reversible protein phosphorylation is a versatile and best-studied post-translational modification used for cellular signaling, and is intimately involved in almost every cellular process. It plays key roles in modulating the activities of numerous metabolic enzymes, and glycogen phosphorylase, rate-controlling enzyme in glycogen degradation, was the first phosphoprotein discovered. However, it is important to be reminded that allosteric regulation by specific metabolites/nucleotides also play a key role in control of metabolic enzyme function. Demonstrating the importance of allosteric regulation of an enzyme in metabolic flux regulation in vivo is difficult partly because of the lack of an established experimental strategy. We have developed a strategy to dissect the physiological role of phosphorylation- and allosteric-dependent regulation of metabolic enzymes, and this talk will focus on some key metabolic enzymes regulating glucose metabolism/homeostasis.
Kei Sakamoto is the Vice Executive Director and Professor of Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen. Prior to this role, Kei was the Head of Metabolic Health Department at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland. Before that Kei was Programme Leader at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee, Scotland. His research is focused on elucidating key molecular mechanisms that control glucose and energy homeostasis associated with exercise, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. He made several discoveries using unique biochemical/genetic approaches and identified key regulatory processes in control of insulin-dependent/-independent glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscle, as well as gluconeogenesis in the liver. The ultimate aim of his lab is to identify and validate molecular candidates and small molecules/natural bioactives to prevent or treat insulin resistance. He has received several awards, for examples from the American Physiological Society, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, and the American College of Sports Medicine. For more information, please see https://cbmr.ku.dk/research/nutrient-and-metabolite-sensing/sakamoto-group/