Original Article

Study of the Roles of Rab and Gh Proteins in Insulin-Induced GLUT4 Translocation Process

Jong Sik Hah, Young Hyun Go, Ji Hee Lee
Author Information & Copyright
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Korea.

Copyright ⓒ 1998. Ewha Womans University School of Medicine. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Dec 31, 1998


Insulin stimulation of glucose transport in adipocytes results from the translocation of vesicles containing the GLUT4 glucose transporter from an intracellular pool to the plasma membrane. In mammalian cells a family of GTP-binding proteins has been implicated in the control of cellular trffic. Thus this study was planned to see whether G-proteins such as Rab, a small molecular mass G-protein and Gαh, a large molecular mass G-protein are involved in insulin induced GLUT4 translocation process.

Diabetic rats(Spraque-Dauley, 200-250g) were prepared by injection of streptozotocin(60mg/kg,IP) and treated with or without insulin(20U/rat) for 4 weeks. The purpose of the study is to elucidate a possible functional relationship between G-protein and the insulin-responsive GLUT4 translocation by immunoblotting method from the subcellular fractions of adipocytes of epididymal tissues.

As results Rab4 protein was coexisted in the membrane of GLUT4 immunoprecipitates of adipocyte total homogenates in normal rats, however Gαh, could not be detected. The amount of GLUT4 at plasma membrane(PM) obtained from insulin treated rats were increased by 21. 35% compared to that of streptozotocin diabetic rats. The increase of Rab4 at the same plasma membrane was negligible. On the other hand, the amounts of GLUT4 and Rab4 at low density microsome(LDM) were decreased by 7.82% and 9.25%, respectively.

These results show that Rab4 is co-localized with GLUT4 in an insulin-responsive intracellular compartment and Rab4 protein plays role in the action of insulin on the GLUT4 translocation but a large molecular G-protein, Gαh is not involved in the GLUT4 translocation process.

Keywords: GLUT4; Rab4; Gαh; Translocation; Insulin; Streptozotocin