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BMC Cell Biol. 2008 Sep 4;9:48. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-9-48.

Focal Adhesion Kinase contributes to insulin-induced actin reorganization into a mesh harboring Glucose transporter-4 in insulin resistant skeletal muscle cells.

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  • 1Signal Transduction Research Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Sector 67, SAS Nagar, Punjab, 160 062, India.



Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) is recently reported to regulate insulin resistance by regulating glucose uptake in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. However, the underlying mechanism for FAK-mediated glucose transporter-4 translocation (Glut-4), responsible for glucose uptake, remains unknown. Recently actin remodeling was reported to be essential for Glut-4 translocation. Therefore, we investigated whether FAK contributes to insulin-induced actin remodeling and harbor Glut-4 for glucose transport and whether downregulation of FAK affects the remodeling and causes insulin resistance.


To address the issue we employed two approaches: gain of function by overexpressing FAK and loss of function by siRNA-mediated silencing of FAK. We observed that overexpression of FAK induces actin remodeling in skeletal muscle cells in presence of insulin. Concomitant to this Glut-4 molecules were also observed to be present in the vicinity of remodeled actin, as indicated by the colocalization studies. FAK-mediated actin remodeling resulted into subsequent glucose uptake via PI3K-dependent pathway. On the other hand FAK silencing reduced actin remodeling affecting Glut-4 translocation resulting into insulin resistance.


The data confirms that FAK regulates glucose uptake through actin reorganization in skeletal muscle. FAK overexpression supports actin remodeling and subsequent glucose uptake in a PI3K dependent manner. Inhibition of FAK prevents insulin-stimulated remodeling of actin filaments resulting into decreased Glut-4 translocation and glucose uptake generating insulin resistance. To our knowledge this is the first study relating FAK, actin remodeling, Glut-4 translocation and glucose uptake and their interrelationship in generating insulin resistance.

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