Glucose transport and transporters in muscle giant vesicles: differential effects of insulin and contractions

Am J Physiol. 1993 Feb;264(2 Pt 1):E270-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1993.264.2.E270.


Collagenase treatment of skeletal muscle results in the formation of large spheres of membranes (3-30 microns diam). A procedure is described for purification and concentration of these giant membrane vesicles prepared from rat muscle. Morphological observations, marker enzyme analysis, and immunoblotting demonstrate that the vesicles are of plasma membrane origin and that sarcoplasmic reticulum, T-tubules, and mitochondrial inner membranes are absent from the preparation. Western blots demonstrate that the vesicles contain GLUT-4 glucose transporters, whereas GLUT-1 could not be detected. Vesicles prepared from control muscle display specific transport of D-glucose with a maximum velocity (Vmax) for glucose influx of approximately 2,500 plasma membrane protein-1.s-1 and an apparent Michaelis constant (Km) of 16 mM measured at zero-trans conditions at room temperature. Muscle contractions in vivo doubled the Vmax of vesicle glucose transport and membrane GLUT-4 content but did not change Km. In contrast, in vivo administration of insulin did not affect vesicle glucose transport or membrane GLUT-4 content. The combination of insulin and contractions caused similar changes as did contractions alone. It is concluded that the present vesicle population contains membrane components almost exclusively derived from the plasma membrane and contains very little if any GLUT-1 but substantial amounts of GLUT-4. Thus the preparation allows the study of transport kinetics of pure GLUT-4 transporters. The procedure for preparing vesicles probably results in activation of the glucose transport system similar to the activation by insulin but not by contractions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Proteins*
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Slc2a1 protein, rat
  • Slc2a4 protein, rat
  • Glucose