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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lipid rafts are required for GLUT4 internalization in adipose cells.

It has been recently reported that insulin recruits a novel signaling machinery to lipid rafts required for insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation [Baumann, A., Ribon, V., Kanzaki, M., Thurmond, D. C., Mora, S., Shigematsu, S., Bickel, P. E., Pessin, J. E. & Saltiel, A. R. (2001) Nature 407, 202-207, 2000; Chiang, S. H., Baumann, C. A., Kanzaki, M., Thurmond, D. C., Watson, R. T., Neudauer, C. L., Macara, I. G., Pessin, J. E. & Saltiel, A. R. (2001) Nature 410, 944-948]. We have assessed the role of lipid rafts on GLUT4 traffic in adipose cells. High GLUT4 levels were detected in caveolae from adipocytes by two approaches, the mechanical isolation of purified caveolae from plasma membrane lawns and the immunogold analysis of plasma membrane lawns followed by freeze-drying. The role of lipid rafts in GLUT4 trafficking was studied by adding nystatin or filipin at concentrations that specifically disrupt caveolae morphology and inhibit caveolae function without altering clathrin-mediated endocytosis. These caveolae inhibitors did not affect the insulin-stimulated glucose transport. However, they blocked both the GLUT4 internalization and the down-regulation of glucose transport triggered by insulin removal in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Our data indicate that lipid rafts are crucial for GLUT4 internalization after insulin removal. Given that high levels of GLUT4 were detected in caveolae from insulin-treated adipose cells, this transporter may be internalized from caveolae or caveolae may operate as an obligatory transition station before internalization.[1]


  1. Lipid rafts are required for GLUT4 internalization in adipose cells. Ros-Baro, A., Lopez-Iglesias, C., Peiro, S., Bellido, D., Palacin, M., Zorzano, A., Camps, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
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