Leucine and mTORc1 act independently to regulate 2-deoxyglucose uptake in L6 myotubes

Qiong Yin, John M. Brameld, Tim Parr, Andrew J. Murton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chronic mTORc1 hyperactivation via obesity-induced hyperleucinaemia has been implicated in the development of insulin resistance, yet the direct impact of leucine on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in muscle cells remains unclear. To address this, differentiated L6 myotubes were subjected to various compounds designed to either inhibit mTORc1 activity (rapamycin), blunt leucine intracellular import (BCH), or activate mTORc1 signalling (3BDO), prior to the determination of the uptake of the glucose analogue, 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG), in response to 1 mM insulin. In separate experiments, L6 myotubes were subject to various media concentrations of leucine (0–0.8 mM) for 24 h before 2-DG uptake in response to insulin was assessed. Both rapamycin and BCH blunted 2-DG uptake, irrespective of insulin administration, and this occurred in parallel with a decline in mTOR, 4E-BP1, and p70S6K phosphorylation status, but little effect on AKT phosphorylation. In contrast, reducing leucine media concentrations suppressed 2-DG uptake, both under insulin- and non-insulin-stimulated conditions, but did not alter the phosphorylation state of AKT-mTORc1 components examined. Unexpectedly, 3BDO failed to stimulate mTORc1 signalling, but, nonetheless, caused a significant increase in 2-DG uptake under non-insulin-stimulated conditions. Both leucine and mTORc1 influence glucose uptake in muscle cells independent of insulin administration, and this likely occurs via distinct but overlapping mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Branched chain amino acids
  • Glucose uptake
  • Insulin resistance
  • Leucine
  • Muscle
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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