We have developed a simple, direct and sensitive method to detect GLUT4 on the cell surface. Using this system, we found that PI3-kinase plays a key role in the signaling pathway of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation. One of the down stream effectors of PI3-kinase is serine-threonine kinase Akt (protein kinase B, RAK-PK), but the involvement of Akt in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation is controversial. To investigate whether Akt1 regulates insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake in L6 myotubes, we established L6 myotubes stably expressing c-myc epitope-tagged GLUT4 (GLUT4myc) and mouse wild type (WT) Akt1. We found that overexpression of WT Akt1 promoted insulin-stimulated p70S6 kinase (p70S6K) activity and increased the basal activity of GSK3 beta, but did not promote insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation or glucose uptake. These data supported the result that Akt is not a main signaling molecule to transmit the signal of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation or glucose uptake from insulin-activated PI3-kinase.