Opposite translational control of GLUT1 and GLUT4 glucose transporter mRNAs in response insulin. Role of mammalian target of rapamycin, protein kinase B, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in GLUT1 mRNA translation

Celia Taha, Zhi Liu, Jing Jin, Hadi Al-Hasani, Nahum Sonenberg, Amira Klip*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Scopus citations


Prolonged exposure of 3T3-L1 adipocytes to insulin increases GLUT1 protein content while diminishing GLUT4. These changes arise in part from changes in mRNA transcription. Here we examined whether there are also specific effects of insulin on GLUT1 and GLUT4 mRNA translation. Insulin enhanced association of GLUT1 mRNA with polyribosomes and decreased association with monosomes, suggesting increased translation. Conversely, insulin arrested the majority of GLUT4 transcripts in monosomes. Insulin inactivates the translational suppressor eukaryotic initiation factor 4E- binding protein-1 (4E-BP1) through the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Hence, we examined the effect of rapamycin on GLUT1 mRNA translation and protein expression. Rapamycin abrogated the insulin-mediated increase in GLUT1 protein synthesis through partial inhibition of GLUT1 mRNA translation and partial inhibition of the rise in GLUT1 mRNA. 4E-BP1 inhibited GLUT1 mRNA translation in vitro. Because phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase B (PKB), in concert with mTOR, inactivate 4E-BP1, we explored their role in GLUT1 protein expression. Cotransfection of cytomegalovirus promoter-driven, hemagglutinin epitope-tagged GLUT1 with dominant inhibitory mutants of PI3K or PKB inhibited the insulin-elicited increase in hemagglutinin-tagged GLUT1 protein. These results unravel the opposite effects of insulin on GLUT1 and GLUT4 mRNA translation. Increased GLUT1 mRNA translation appears to occur via the PI3K/PKB/mTOR/4E-BP1 cascade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33085-33091
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 12 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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