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

Calpain facilitates GLUT4 vesicle translocation during insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes.

Calpains are a family of non-lysosomal cysteine proteases. Recent studies have identified a member of the calpain family of proteases, calpain 10, as a putative diabetes-susceptibility gene that may be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Inhibition of calpain activity has been shown to reduce insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in isolated rat-muscle strips and adipocytes. In this report, we examine the mechanism by which calpain affects insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Inhibition of calpain activity resulted in approx. a 60% decrease in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Furthermore, inhibition of calpain activity prevented the translocation of insulin-responsive glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) vesicles to the plasma membrane, as demonstrated by fluorescent microscopy of whole cells and isolated plasma membranes; it did not, however, alter the total GLUT4 protein content. While inhibition of calpain did not affect the insulin-mediated proximal steps of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway, it did prevent the insulin-stimulated cortical actin reorganization required for GLUT4 translocation. Specific inhibition of calpain 10 by antisense expression reduced insulin- stimulated GLUT4 translocation and actin reorganization. Based on these findings, we propose a role for calpain in the actin reorganization required for insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. These studies identify calpain as a novel factor involved in GLUT4 vesicle trafficking and suggest a link between calpain activity and the development of type 2 diabetes.[1]


  1. Calpain facilitates GLUT4 vesicle translocation during insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes. Paul, D.S., Harmon, A.W., Winston, C.P., Patel, Y.M. Biochem. J. (2003) [Pubmed]
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