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Insulin stimulates syntaxin4 SNARE complex assembly via a novel regulatory mechanism

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Publication details

JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jan 2014
DatePublished (current) - Apr 2014
Issue number7
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1271-9
Early online date7/01/14
Original languageEnglish


Insulin stimulates glucose transport into fat and muscle cells by increasing the exocytic trafficking rate of the GLUT4 facilitative glucose transporter from intracellular stores to the plasma membrane. Delivery of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane is mediated by formation of functional SNARE complexes containing syntaxin4, SNAP23, and VAMP2. Here we have used an in situ proximity ligation assay to integrate these two observations by demonstrating for the first time that insulin stimulation causes an increase in syntaxin4-containing SNARE complex formation in adipocytes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that insulin brings about this increase in SNARE complex formation by mobilizing a pool of syntaxin4 held in an inactive state under basal conditions. Finally, we have identified phosphorylation of the regulatory protein Munc18c, a direct target of the insulin receptor, as a molecular switch to coordinate this process. Hence, this report provides molecular detail of how the cell alters membrane traffic in response to an external stimulus, in this case, insulin.

    Research areas

  • 3T3-L1 Cells, Adipocytes, Animals, Cell Membrane, Glucose Transporter Type 4, Insulin, Mice, Multiprotein Complexes, Munc18 Proteins, Phosphorylation, Protein Transport, Qa-SNARE Proteins, Qb-SNARE Proteins, Qc-SNARE Proteins, Rats, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, SNARE Proteins, Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 2

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