Glycogen as Key Energy Storehouse and Possibly Responsible for Multidrug Resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

  • Anil Kumar Gupta
  • Amit Singh
  • Sarman SinghEmail author


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem with a high mortality rate worldwide due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) pathogen, claiming 9.6 million total cases were estimated in 2014 and more than 1.5 million people dead. M. tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacterial species produce a variety of glycogen or glycogen-associated molecules like lipoarabinomannan (LAM), trehalose monomycolate (TMM), phenolic glycolipids (PGLs), trehalose dimycolate (TDM), phosphatidylinositol-containing mannosides (PIMs), etc., that represent as major glycans present in the outermost layer of M. tuberculosis. The M. tuberculosis accumulate glycogen during harsh environmental condition, i.e. presence of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates, limited nutrients availability and depletion of other essential elements required for their survival within the host. The glycosyltransferases (GTs) enzyme involves two families, glycogen transferase-3 (eukaryotes) and GTs-5 (eubacterial and archaeal), that play a major role in the regulation of glycogen metabolism. In bacteria, regulation of glycogen anabolism involves several glycogen synthase enzymes, i.e.α-d-glycogen synthase A (glgA), 1,4-α-d-glucan 6-glucosyltransferase (glgB) and glucose-1-phosphate adenylyltransferase (glgC), while catabolism involves glycogen phosphorylase (glgP) enzyme. In recent years, role of glycogen was investigated enormously in the pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis. Two major glycogen conjugates present in the cell wall of M. tuberculosis are TDM and TMM. These conjugates serve as precursors for the synthesis of mycolic acid that plays a key role in the invasion and pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis. This chapter summarizes the current updates of the presence of glycogen/glycoconjugates and their physiological role in the survival and pathogenesis mechanisms of M. tuberculosis during antagonistic conditions. Also, the chapter summarizes evidence of the putative GTs in the Mycobacterium spp.


M. tuberculosis Drug resistance Glycogen accumulation GarA Protein kinase 


ACP reductase

Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase


Adenosine diphosphate




Complement receptor 3






α-d-Glycogen synthase A


1,4-α-d-Glucan 6-glucosyltransferase


Glucose-1-phosphate adenylyltransferase


Glycogen phosphorylase


Glucan hydrolase


Glycogen synthase


Glycosyltransferase B




α-Ketoglutarate decarboxylase





M. tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis


6-O-Methylglucosyl-containing lipopolysaccharides


Nucleotide pyrophosphate


2-Oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns


Phenolic glycolipids






Phosphatidylinositol-containing mannosides


Cis-element stress response element




Toll-like receptor


Trehalose monomycolate


Uridine diphosphate


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Clinical Microbiology and Molecular MedicineAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

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