Bridging the GAP between insulin signaling and GLUT4 translocation

Trends Biochem Sci. 2006 Apr;31(4):215-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2006.02.007. Epub 2006 Mar 15.


Upon binding and activating its cell-surface receptor, insulin triggers signaling cascades that regulate many cellular processes. Regarding glucose homeostasis, insulin suppresses hepatic glucose production and increases glucose transport into muscle and adipose tissues. At the cellular level, glucose uptake results from the insulin-stimulated translocation of the glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) from intracellular storage sites to the plasma membrane. Although the signaling molecules that function proximal to the activated insulin receptor have been well characterized, it is not known how the distal insulin-signaling cascade interfaces with and mobilizes GLUT4-containing compartments. Recently, several candidate signaling molecules, including AS160, PIKfyve and synip, have been identified that might provide functional links between the insulin signaling cascade and GLUT4 compartments. Future work will focus on delineating the precise GLUT4 trafficking steps regulated by these molecules.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Transport*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin