Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem Pharmacol. 2003 Sep 1;66(5):849-58.

Alpha-lipoic acid decreases thiol reactivity of the insulin receptor and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-171, South Korea.


Alpha-lipoic acid is known to increase insulin sensitivity in vivo and to stimulate glucose uptake into adipose and muscle cells in vitro. In this study, alpha-lipoic acid was demonstrated to stimulate the autophosphorylation of insulin receptor and glucose uptake into 3T3-L1 adipocytes by reducing the thiol reactivity of intracellular proteins. To elucidate mechanism of this effect, role of protein thiol groups and H(2)O(2) in insulin receptor autophosphorylation and glucose uptake was investigated in 3T3-L1 adipocytes following stimulation with alpha-lipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid or insulin treatment of adipocytes increased intracellular level of oxidants, decreased thiol reactivity of the insulin receptor beta-subunit, increased tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor, and enhanced glucose uptake. Alpha-lipoic acid or insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was inhibited (i) by alkylation of intracellular, but not extracellular, thiol groups downstream of insulin receptor activation, and (ii) by diphenylene iodonium at the level of the insulin receptor autophosphorylation. alpha-Lipoic acid also inhibited protein tyrosine phosphatase activity and decreased thiol reactivity of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B. These findings indicate that oxidants produced by alpha-lipoic acid or insulin are involved in activation of insulin receptor and in inactivation of protein tyrosine phosphatases, which eventually result in elevated glucose uptake into 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk