Single Point Mutations Result in the Miss-Sorting of Glut4 to a Novel Membrane Compartment Associated with Stress Granule Proteins

Xiao Mei Song, Cheryl F. Lichti, R. Reid Townsend, Mike Mueckler

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7 Scopus citations


Insulin increases cellular glucose uptake and metabolism in the postprandial state by acutely stimulating the translocation of the Glut4 glucose transporter from intracellular membrane compartments to the cell surface in muscle and fat cells. The intracellular targeting of Glut4 is dictated by specific structural motifs within cytoplasmic domains of the transporter. We demonstrate that two leucine residues at the extreme C-terminus of Glut4 are critical components of a motif (IRM, insulin responsive motif) involved in the sorting of the transporter to insulin responsive vesicles in 3T3L1 adipocytes. Light microscopy, immunogold electron microscopy, subcellular fractionation, and sedimentation analysis indicate that mutations in the IRM cause the aberrant targeting of Glut4 to large dispersed membrane vesicles that are not insulin responsive. Proteomic characterization of rapidly and slowly sedimenting membrane vesicles (RSVs and SSVs) that were highly enriched by immunoadsorption for either wild-type Glut4 or an IRM mutant revealed that the major vesicle fraction containing the mutant transporter (IRM-RSVs) possessed a relatively small and highly distinct protein population that was enriched for proteins associated with stress granules. We suggest that the IRM is critical for an early step in the sorting of Glut4 to insulin-responsive subcellular membrane compartments and that IRM mutants are miss-targeted to relatively large, amorphous membrane vesicles that may be involved in a degradation pathway for miss-targeted or miss-folded proteins or represent a transitional membrane compartment that Glut4 traverses en route to insulin responsive storage compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere68516
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 16 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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