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

Insulin stimulation of phospholipid methylation in isolated rat adipocyte plasma membranes.

Partially purified plasma membranes prepared from rat adipocytes contain N-methyltransferase(s) that utilize(s) S-adenosyl-L-methionine to synthesize phosphatidylcholine from phosphatidylethanolamine. The incorporation of [3H]methyl from S-adenosyl-L-[methyl-3H]methionine into plasma membrane phospholipids was linear with incubation time and plasma membrane protein concentration and was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by both S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine and 3-deazadenosine. The addition of insulin to plasma membranes stimulated the methylation of endogenous phosphatidylethanolamine, as evidenced by an increase in the levels of phosphatidyl-N-monomethylethanolamine, phosphatidyl-N, N-dimethylethanolamine, and phosphatidylcholine. The effect of insulin was rapid and concentration-dependent, with 100 microunits/ml providing near maximal stimulation. The incorporation of [3H]methyl into phospholipids of control and insulin-stimulated plasma membranes was enhanced by the addition of exogenous methyltransferase substrates phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidyl-N-monomethylethanolamine, and phosphatidyl-N,N-dimethylethanolamine. The stimulatory effect of insulin on adipocyte plasma membrane phospholipid methylation may have a physiological role in insulin action.[1]


  1. Insulin stimulation of phospholipid methylation in isolated rat adipocyte plasma membranes. Kelly, K.L., Kiechle, F.L., Jarett, L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1984) [Pubmed]
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