Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO Rep. 2005 Dec;6(12):1137-42.

Glucose transporter 4: cycling, compartments and controversies.

Author information

Programme in Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.


Insulin promotes glucose uptake into muscle and adipose tissues through glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). In unstimulated cells, rapid endocytosis, slow exocytosis and dynamic or static retention cause GLUT4 to concentrate in early recycling endosomes, the trans-Golgi network and vesicle-associated protein 2-containing vesicles. The coordinated action of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase effectors, protein kinase Akt, atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and Akt substrate of 160-kDa (AS160), regulates the GLUT4 cycle by affecting its translocation, fusion with the plasma membrane, internalization and sorting. We review the evidence that supports such cycling, evaluate current models proposing static or dynamic retention, and highlight how distinct steps of GLUT4 transport are regulated by insulin signals. In particular, fusion seems to be regulated by aPKC (via munc18) and Akt (via syntaxin4-interacting protein (synip)). AS160 participates in GLUT4 intracellular retention, and possibly fusion, through candidate ras-related GTP-binding protein (Rab)2, Rab8, Rab10 and/or Rab14. The localization of the insulin-sensitive GLUT4 compartment and the precise target of insulin-derived signals remain open for future investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center