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Glucose transporters and insulin action: Some insights into diabetes management

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Insulin stimulates glucose uptake in muscle and adipose cells primarily by recruiting GLUT4 from an intracellular storage pool to the plasma membrane. Dysfunction of this process known as insulin resistance causes hyperglycemia, a hallmark of diabetes and obesity. Thus the understanding of the mechanisms underlying this process at the molecular level may give, an insight into the prevention and treatment of these health problems. GLUT4 in rat adipocytes, for example, constantly recycles between the cell surface and an intracellular pool by endocytosis and exocytosis, each of which is regulated by an insulin-sensitive and GLUT4-selective sorting mechanism. Our working hypothesis has been that this sorting mechanism includes a specific interaction of a cytosolic protein with the GLUT4 cytoplasmic domain. Indeed, a synthetic peptide of the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain of GLUT4 induces an insulin-like GLUT4 recruitment when introduced in rat adipocytes. Relevance of these observations to a novel euglycemic drug design is discussed.

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Correspondence to Chan Y. Jung.

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Jung, C.Y., Lee, W. Glucose transporters and insulin action: Some insights into diabetes management. Arch Pharm Res 22, 329 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02979053

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Key words

  • Diabetes
  • Insulin action
  • Glucose transporter