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Biochem Soc Trans. 2014 Oct;42(5):1396-400. doi: 10.1042/BST20140114.

Studies of the regulated assembly of SNARE complexes in adipocytes.

Author information

1
*Henry Wellcome Laboratory of Cell Biology, Institute for Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, Davidson Building, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, U.K.
2
†Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, U.K.

Abstract

Insulin plays a fundamental role in whole-body glucose homeostasis. Central to this is the hormone's ability to rapidly stimulate the rate of glucose transport into adipocytes and muscle cells [1]. Upon binding its receptor, insulin stimulates an intracellular signalling cascade that culminates in redistribution of glucose transporter proteins, specifically the GLUT4 isoform, from intracellular stores to the plasma membrane, a process termed 'translocation' [1,2]. This is an example of regulated membrane trafficking [3], a process that also underpins other aspects of physiology in a number of specialized cell types, for example neurotransmission in brain/neurons and release of hormone-containing vesicles from specialized secretory cells such as those found in pancreatic islets. These processes invoke a number of intriguing biological questions as follows. How is the machinery involved in these membrane trafficking events mobilized in response to a stimulus? How do the signalling pathways that detect the external stimulus interface with the trafficking machinery? Recent studies of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation offer insight into such questions. In the present paper, we have reviewed these studies and draw parallels with other regulated trafficking systems.

PMID:
25233421
DOI:
10.1042/BST20140114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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