Microsomes prepared from three rat tissues were examined for their ability to import glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P). Microsomes from liver, which possess a high level of glucose-6-phosphatase activity, were compared with those from cerebral cortex and cardiac muscle, which are not involved in the export of glucose and in which glucose-6-phosphatase activity is relatively low. In all three, a selective permeability to G-6-P was detected by light scattering. However, the sugar-phosphate specificity of the transport process differed. G-6-P was able to enhance ATP-dependent Ca2+ sequestration in all three types of microsomes. In addition, enzymatic detection of G-6-P after the rapid filtration of microsomes determined that, in the absence of Ca2+ and ATP, a level of intramicrosomal G-6-P approaching a passive equilibrium with the extramicrosomal G-6-P concentration was rapidly achieved in all three tissues. However, under conditions in which Ca2+ was being actively accumulated, the intramicrosomal levels of G-6-P exceeded the equilibrium value by three- to fourfold. This enhanced sequestration was not observed in the presence of Ca2+ or ATP alone or in the presence of a Ca2+ ionophore or an inhibitor of the microsomal Ca2+ ATPase. These data are consistent with a selective import pathway into the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum for G-6-P independent of glucose-6-phosphatase activity. In addition, they suggest an alternate explanation for the enhanced sequestration of Ca2+ by the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum of intact cells seen when extracellular glucose is increased.

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