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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Aug;19(4):466-73. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Ins (endocytosis) and outs (exocytosis) of GLUT4 trafficking.

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Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.


Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) is the major insulin-regulated glucose transporter expressed mainly in muscle and adipose tissue. GLUT4 is stored in a poorly characterized intracellular vesicular compartment and translocates to the cell surface in response to insulin stimulation resulting in an increased glucose uptake. This process is essential for the maintenance of normal glucose homeostasis and involves a complex interplay of trafficking events and intracellular signaling cascades. Recent studies have identified sortilin as an essential element for the formation of GLUT4 storage vesicles during adipogenesis and Golgi-localized gamma-ear-containing Arf-binding protein (GGA) as a key coat adaptor for the entry of newly synthesized GLUT4 into the specialized compartment. Insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation from this compartment to the plasma membrane appears to require the Akt/protein kinase B substrate termed AS160 (Akt substrate of 160kDa). In addition, the VPS9 domain-containing protein Gapex-5 in complex with CIP4 appears to function as a Rab31 guanylnucleotide exchange factor that is necessary for insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation. Here, we attempt to summarize recent advances in GLUT4 vesicle biogenesis, intracellular trafficking and membrane fusion.

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