An intracellular motif of GLUT4 regulates fusion of GLUT4-containing vesicles
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BMC Cell Biology 2008, 9:25 doi:10.1186/1471-2121-9-25Published: 20 May 2008
Insulin stimulates glucose uptake by adipocytes through increasing translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT4 from an intracellular compartment to the plasma membrane. Fusion of GLUT4-containing vesicles at the cell surface is thought to involve phospholipase D activity, generating the signalling lipid phosphatidic acid, although the mechanism of action is not yet clear.
Here we report the identification of a putative phosphatidic acid-binding motif in a GLUT4 intracellular loop. Mutation of this motif causes a decrease in the insulin-induced exposure of GLUT4 at the cell surface of 3T3-L1 adipocytes via an effect on vesicle fusion.
The potential phosphatidic acid-binding motif identified in this study is unique to GLUT4 among the sugar transporters, therefore this motif may provide a unique mechanism for regulating insulin-induced translocation by phospholipase D signalling.