Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activation promotes glucose transporter 4 (Glut 4) translocation in adipocytes. In this study, we demonstrate that protein kinase B, a serine/threonine kinase stimulated by PI 3-kinase, is activated by both insulin and okadaic acid in isolated adipocytes, in parallel with their effects on Glut 4 translocation. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, platelet-derived growth factor activated PI 3-kinase as efficiently as insulin but was only half as potent as insulin in promoting protein kinase B (PKB) activation. To look for a potential role of PKB in Glut 4 translocation, adipocytes were transfected with a constitutively active PKB (Gag-PKB) together with an epitope tagged transporter (Glut 4 myc). Gag-PKB was associated with all membrane fractions, whereas the endogenous PKB was mostly cytosolic. Expression of Gag-PKB led to an increase in Glut 4 myc amount at the cell surface. Our results suggest that PKB could play a role in promoting Glut 4 appearance at the cell surface following exposure of adipocytes to insulin and okadaic acid stimulation.