Skeletal muscle is responsible for the majority of glucose disposal following meals, and this is achieved by insulin-mediated trafficking of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) to the cell membrane. The eight-protein exocyst trafficking complex facilitates targeted docking of membrane-bound vesicles, a process underlying the regulated delivery of fuel transporters. We previously demonstrated the role of exocyst subunit EXOC5 in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 exocytosis and glucose uptake in cultured rat skeletal myoblasts. However, the in vivo role of EXOC5 in skeletal muscle remains unclear. Using mice with inducible, skeletal-muscle-specific knockout of exocyst subunit EXOC5 (Exoc5-SMKO), we examined how muscle-specific disruption of the exocyst would affect glucose homeostasis in vivo. We found that both male and female Exoc5-SMKO mice displayed elevated fasting glucose levels. Additionally, male Exoc5-SMKO mice had impaired glucose tolerance and lower serum insulin levels. Using indirect calorimetry, we observed that male Exoc5-SMKO mice have a reduced respiratory exchange ratio during the light period and lower energy expenditure. Using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp method, we further showed that insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose uptake is reduced in Exoc5-SMKO males compared with wild-type controls. Overall, our findings indicate that EXOC5 and the exocyst are necessary for insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and regulate glucose homeostasis in vivo.
Keywords: diabetes; exocyst complex; glucose transporter; insulin resistance; skeletal muscle.
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