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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Sep 1;88(17):7839-43.

Suppressed intrinsic catalytic activity of GLUT1 glucose transporters in insulin-sensitive 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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  • 1Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01605.


Previous studies indicated that the erythroidtype (GLUT1) glucose transporter isoform contributes to basal but not insulin-stimulated hexose transport in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In the present studies it was found that basal hexose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes was about 50% lower than that in 3T3-L1 or CHO-K1 fibroblasts. Intrinsic catalytic activities of GLUT1 transporters in CHO-K1 and 3T3-L1 cells were compared by normalizing these hexose transport rates to GLUT1 content on the cell surface, as measured by two independent methods. Cell surface GLUT1 levels in 3T3-L1 fibroblasts and adipocytes were about 10- and 25-fold higher, respectively, than in CHO-K1 fibroblasts, as assessed with an anti-GLUT1 exofacial domain antiserum, delta. The large excess of cell surface GLUT1 transporters in 3T3-L1 adipocytes relative to CHO-K1 fibroblasts was confirmed by GLUT1 protein immunoblot analysis and by photoaffinity labelling (with 3-[125I]iodo-4-azidophenethylamido-7-O-succinyldeacetylforskoli n) of glucose transporters in isolated plasma membranes. Thus, GLUT1 intrinsic activity is markedly reduced in 3T3-L1 fibroblasts compared with the CHO-K1 fibroblasts, and further reduction occurs upon differentiation to adipocytes. Intrinsic catalytic activities specifically associated with heterologously expressed human GLUT1 protein in transfected CHO-K1 versus 3T3-L1 cells were determined by subtracting appropriate control cell values for hexose transport and delta-antibody binding from those determined in the transfected cells expressing high levels of human GLUT1. The results confirmed a greater than 90% inhibition of the intrinsic catalytic activity of human GLUT1 transporters on the surface of mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes relative to CHO-K1 fibroblasts. We conclude that a mechanism that markedly suppresses basal hexose transport catalyzed by GLUT1 is a major contributor to the dramatic insulin sensitivity of glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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