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J Biol Chem. 1996 Apr 19;271(16):9704-9.

A synthetic peptide corresponding to the Rab4 hypervariable carboxyl-terminal domain inhibits insulin action on glucose transport in rat adipocytes.

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Department of Cell Biologoy, Institute for Molecular and Celluar Regulation, Gunma University, Maebashi, Japan.


The present study was conducted to examine the involvement of Rab4, a low molecular weight GTP-binding protein, in the action of insulin on glucose transport. A synthetic peptide corresponding to the Rab4 hypervariable carboxyl-terminal domain, Rab4-(191-210), was successfully transferred into rat adipocytes by electroporation and inhibited insulin-stimulated glucose transport by about 50% without affecting the basal transport activity. In contrast, synthetic peptides corresponding to the Rab3C and Rab3D carboxyl-terminal hypervariable domain had little effect on insulin action on glucose transport. The Rab4-(191-210) peptide also reduced insulin-induced GLUT4 translocation from the intracellular pool to the plasma membrane. Furthermore, the Rab4-(191-210) peptide reduced both insulin-induced glucose transport and GLUT4 translocation in the presence of a major histocompatibility complex class I antigen-derived peptide, D(k)-(62-85), which is a potent inhibitor of GLUT4 internalization, suggesting that the peptide inhibited exocytotic recruitment of GLUT4-containing vesicles. The Rab4-(191-210) peptide also inhibited GTP gamma S-stimulated glucose transport. In addition, insulin-stimulated glucose transport was inhibited by the addition of anti-Rab4 antibody. These results suggest that Rab4 protein plays a crucial role in insulin action on GLUT4 translocation, especially in exocytotic recruitment by the hormone of the glucose transporter to the plasma membrane from the intracellular retention pool.

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