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J Biol Chem. 1996 Jul 26;271(30):17605-8.

Activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase is sufficient to mediate actin rearrangement and GLUT4 translocation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Insulin stimulation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes causes rapid translocation of actin and the GLUT4 glucose transporter to the plasma membrane. Both processes depend on the activity of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Using single cell microinjection, we have transiently expressed a constitutively activated mutant of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, p110*, in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Fluorescent detection of GLUT4 protein and actin within these cells demonstrates that expression of p110* is sufficient to cause translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane and the formation of actin membrane ruffles. These effects are inhibited by wortmannin in the p110*-expressing cells, indicating that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity of the protein is required. Overexpression of an identical protein containing a point mutation in the kinase domain, p110*Deltakin, was incapable of mediating either action, confirming that neither the microinjection process nor a nonspecific effect of the protein was responsible for the observed effects. These data suggest that although insulin is capable of inducing numerous signaling pathways, the isolated activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase can initiate the signaling cascade leading to both actin rearrangement and GLUT4 translocation in the absence of insulin stimulation.

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