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Diabetes. 1997 Nov;46(11):1667-77.

Moving GLUT4: the biogenesis and trafficking of GLUT4 storage vesicles.

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  • 1Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia.


The GLUT4 system in muscle and fat cells plays an important role in whole-body glucose homeostasis. Insulin stimulates the translocation of GLUT4 from an intracellular storage compartment to the cell surface. The nature of this compartment remains largely unknown. We review recent studies describing the biogenesis and molecular constituents of the GLUT4 storage compartment and conclude that it is segregated from the endosomal and biosynthetic pathways. Further, we present evidence to suggest that the GLUT4 storage compartment moves directly to the plasma membrane in response to insulin and, hence, is analogous to small synaptic vesicles in neurons. We propose that the GLUT4 storage compartment be referred to as GLUT4 storage vesicles or GSVs.

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