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Nutr Diabetes. 2013 Jun 10;3:e74. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2013.13.

Insulin stimulation regulates AS160 and TBC1D1 phosphorylation sites in human skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA, USA.



Individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are typically insulin resistant, exhibiting impaired skeletal muscle glucose uptake. Animal and cell culture experiments have shown that site-specific phosphorylation of the Rab-GTPase-activating proteins AS160 and TBC1D1 is critical for GLUT4 translocation facilitating glucose uptake, but their regulation in human skeletal muscle is not well understood.


Here, lean, obese and T2D subjects underwent a euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp, and vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were obtained before, and at 30 and 180 min post insulin infusion.


Obese and T2D subjects had higher body mass indexes and fasting insulin concentrations, and T2D subjects showed insulin resistance. Consistent with the clamp findings, T2D subjects had impaired insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of AS160 Thr(642), a site previously shown to be important in glucose uptake in rodents. Interestingly, insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of TBC1D1 Thr(590), a site shown to be regulated by insulin in rodents, was only increased in T2D subjects, although the functional significance of this difference is unknown.


These data show that insulin differentially regulates AS160 and TBC1D1 phosphorylation in human skeletal muscle. Impaired insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in T2D subjects is accompanied by dysregulation of AS160 and TBC1D1 phosphorylation in skeletal muscle, suggesting that these proteins may regulate glucose uptake in humans.

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