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J Biol Chem. 1990 Feb 15;265(5):2413-6.

Insulin stimulates the assembly of cytosolic clathrin onto adipocyte plasma membranes.

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  • 1Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01655.


The effects of insulin on the subcellular distribution of the heavy chain of clathrin and on the insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) mannose 6-phosphate receptor were investigated in isolated rat adipocytes. Plasma membranes, intracellular membranes, and cytosol were separated by differential centrifugation, and the concentration of clathrin and receptor in each fraction was quantified by sequential immunoblotting with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against these proteins. A 3-fold increase in the amount of clathrin heavy chain associated with isolated plasma membranes was found after treatment of cells with low concentrations of insulin. This effect was complete within 2 min of stimulation at 37 degrees C and was abolished at 5-10 degrees C. The insulin-mediated increase in the cell surface concentration of receptors for IGF-II/mannose 6-phosphate displayed a similar time course and temperature dependence. A concomitant decrease in the concentration of IGF-II/mannose 6-phosphate receptors in intracellular membranes was observed. In contrast, no significant changes in the concentration of clathrin in this fraction could be detected. Instead, a marked decrease in the level of unassembled cytosolic clathrin was observed in insulin-treated cells compared with controls. These results suggest that insulin induces an increase in the assembly of cytosolic clathrin onto the plasma membrane in conjunction with its ability to increase the concentration of receptors on the cell surface.

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