Glucose transporter recycling in response to insulin is facilitated by myosin Myo1c

Nature. 2002 Dec;420(6917):821-4. doi: 10.1038/nature01246.


Insulin stimulates glucose uptake in muscle and adipocytes by signalling the translocation of GLUT4 glucose transporters from intracellular membranes to the cell surface. The translocation of GLUT4 may involve signalling pathways that are both independent of and dependent on phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K). This translocation also requires the actin cytoskeleton, and the rapid movement of GLUT4 along linear tracks may be mediated by molecular motors. Here we report that the unconventional myosin Myo1c is present in GLUT4-containing vesicles purified from 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Myo1c, which contains a motor domain, three IQ motifs and a carboxy-terminal cargo domain, is highly expressed in primary and cultured adipocytes. Insulin enhances the localization of Myo1c with GLUT4 in cortical tubulovesicular structures associated with actin filaments, and this colocalization is insensitive to wortmannin. Insulin-stimulated translocation of GLUT4 to the adipocyte plasma membrane is augmented by the expression of wild-type Myo1c and inhibited by a dominant-negative cargo domain of Myo1c. A decrease in the expression of endogenous Myo1c mediated by small interfering RNAs inhibits insulin-stimulated uptake of 2-deoxyglucose. Thus, myosin Myo1c functions in a PI(3)K-independent insulin signalling pathway that controls the movement of intracellular GLUT4-containing vesicles to the plasma membrane.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / ultrastructure
  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle Proteins*
  • Myosin Type I
  • Myosins / chemistry
  • Myosins / genetics
  • Myosins / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Myo1c protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Slc2a4 protein, mouse
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Myosin Type I
  • Myosins
  • Glucose