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J Biol Chem. 1984 Jul 10;259(13):8125-33.

Photoaffinity labeling of insulin-sensitive hexose transporters in intact rat adipocytes. Direct evidence that latent transporters become exposed to the extracellular space in response to insulin.


Irradiation of intact rat adipocytes with high intensity ultraviolet light in the presence of 0.5 microM [3H] cytochalasin B results in the labeling of Mr 43,000 and 46,000 proteins that reside in the plasma membrane fraction. In contrast to the Mr 46,000 protein, the Mr 43,000 component is not observed in the microsome fraction and exhibits lower affinity for [3H]cytochalasin B. Photolabeling of the Mr 43,000 protein is inhibited by cytochalasin D, indicating it is not a hexose transporter component. The Mr 46,000 protein exhibits characteristics expected for the glucose transporter such that D-glucose or 3-O-methylglucose but not cytochalasin D inhibits its photolabeling with [3H] cytochalasin B. Furthermore, insulin addition to intact cells either prior to or after photoaffinity labeling of the Mr 46,000 protein causes a redistribution of this component from the low density microsomes to the plasma membrane fraction, as expected for the hexose transporter. Photolabeling of transporters in both the low density microsome and plasma membrane fractions is inhibited when intact cells are equilibrated with 50 mM ethylidene glucose prior to irradiation with [3H]cytochalasin B. Incubation of intact cells with 50 mM ethylidene glucose for 1 min at 15 degrees C leads to an intracellular concentration of only 2 mM. Under these conditions, the photoaffinity labeling in intact cells of hexose transporters that fractionate with the low density microsomes is unaffected, indicating these transporters are not exposed to the extracellular medium. In contrast, photolabeling in intact insulin-treated cells of hexose transporters that fractionate with the plasma membrane is inhibited under these incubation conditions. The results demonstrate that insulin action results in the exposure to the extracellular medium of previously sequestered hexose transporters.

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