Role of alpha-glucosidase in fetal lung maturation.

Article Details


Bourbon JR, Doucet E, Rieutort M

Role of alpha-glucosidase in fetal lung maturation.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1987 Jan 13;917(1):203-10.

PubMed ID
3539207 [ View in PubMed

The role of lysosomal enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase in fetal lung development was investigated with the aid of a specific inhibitor, the pseudosaccharide acarbose. The drug was added to a Waymouth culture medium of fetal rat lung explants cultivated for 48 h from gestational stage 19.5 days, an in vitro system previously shown to allow morphological and biochemical maturation of alveolar epithelium. Glycogenolysis was reduced by 40% as compared with tissue cultivated on control medium, which means that alpha-glucosidase could account for as much as 40% of fetal lung glycogenolysis, the remaining 60% being presumably achieved by cytosolic phosphorylase and by a microsomal neutral alpha-glucosidase. By the same time, the increase of phospholipids of surfactant fraction extracted from cultivated explants was partially inhibited: total and saturated phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylinositol were about 30-40% lower than in lungs cultivated on control medium. It should be emphasized that DNA concentration and increases in non-surfactant phospholipids were unchanged by the drug. alpha-Glucosidase activity was evidenced in the lysosomal fraction, in the microsomal fraction and, although in lower amounts, in the surfactant fraction extracted from term fetal lung. The results suggest that lysosomal alpha-glucosidase plays a major role in lung maturation and could facilitate glycogenolysis for the specific use of glycogen stores in providing substrates for surfactant phospholipid biosynthesis.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

Drug Targets
DrugTargetKindOrganismPharmacological ActionActions
AcarboseLysosomal alpha-glucosidaseProteinHumans