Insulin signaling requires glucose to promote lipid anabolism in adipocytesAdipose tissue is essential for metabolic homeostasis, balancing lipid storage and mobilization based on nutritional status. This is coordinated by insulin, which triggers kinase signaling cascades to modulate numerous metabolic proteins, leading to increased glucose uptake and anabolic processes like lipogenesis. Given recent evidence that glucose is dispensable for adipocyte respiration, we sought to test whether glucose is necessary for insulin-stimulated anabolism. Examining lipogenesis in cultured adipocytes, glucose was essential for insulin to stimulate the synthesis of fatty acids and glyceride–glycerol.
Lactate production is a prioritized feature of adipocyte metabolismAdipose tissue is essential for whole-body glucose homeostasis, with a primary role in lipid storage. It has been previously observed that lactate production is also an important metabolic feature of adipocytes, but its relationship to adipose and whole-body glucose disposal remains unclear. Therefore, using a combination of metabolic labeling techniques, here we closely examined lactate production of cultured and primary mammalian adipocytes. Insulin treatment increased glucose uptake and conversion to lactate, with the latter responding more to insulin than did other metabolic fates of glucose.
Mitochondrial oxidants, but not respiration, are sensitive to glucose in adipocytesInsulin action in adipose tissue is crucial for whole-body glucose homeostasis, with insulin resistance being a major risk factor for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Recent studies have proposed mitochondrial oxidants as a unifying driver of adipose insulin resistance, serving as a signal of nutrient excess. However, neither the substrates for nor sites of oxidant production are known. Because insulin stimulates glucose utilization, we hypothesized that glucose oxidation would fuel respiration, in turn generating mitochondrial oxidants.
Thirty sweet years of GLUT4A pivotal metabolic function of insulin is the stimulation of glucose uptake into muscle and adipose tissues. The discovery of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) protein in 1988 inspired its molecular cloning in the following year. It also spurred numerous cellular mechanistic studies laying the foundations for how insulin regulates glucose uptake by muscle and fat cells. Here, we reflect on the importance of the GLUT4 discovery and chronicle additional key findings made in the past 30 years.
Tankyrase modulates insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle cells by regulating the stability of GLUT4 vesicle proteinsTankyrase 1 and 2, members of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase family, have previously been shown to play a role in insulin-mediated glucose uptake in adipocytes. However, their precise mechanism of action, and their role in insulin action in other cell types, such as myocytes, remains elusive. Treatment of differentiated L6 myotubes with the small molecule tankyrase inhibitor XAV939 resulted in insulin resistance as determined by impaired insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Proteomic analysis of XAV939-treated myotubes identified down-regulation of several glucose transporter GLUT4 storage vesicle (GSV) proteins including RAB10, VAMP8, SORT1, and GLUT4.
Mitochondrial oxidative stress causes insulin resistance without disrupting oxidative phosphorylationMitochondrial oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, or both have been implicated in insulin resistance. However, disentangling the individual roles of these processes in insulin resistance has been difficult because they often occur in tandem, and tools that selectively increase oxidant production without impairing mitochondrial respiration have been lacking. Using the dimer/monomer status of peroxiredoxin isoforms as an indicator of compartmental hydrogen peroxide burden, we provide evidence that oxidative stress is localized to mitochondria in insulin-resistant 3T3-L1 adipocytes and adipose tissue from mice.
High dietary fat and sucrose result in an extensive and time-dependent deterioration in health of multiple physiological systems in miceObesity is associated with metabolic dysfunction, including insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, and with disorders such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and neurodegeneration. Typically, these pathologies are examined in discrete model systems and with limited temporal resolution, and whether these disorders co-occur is therefore unclear. To address this question, here we examined multiple physiological systems in male C57BL/6J mice following prolonged exposure to a high-fat/high-sucrose diet (HFHSD).
Metabolomic analysis of insulin resistance across different mouse strains and dietsInsulin resistance is a major risk factor for many diseases. However, its underlying mechanism remains unclear in part because it is triggered by a complex relationship between multiple factors, including genes and the environment. Here, we used metabolomics combined with computational methods to identify factors that classified insulin resistance across individual mice derived from three different mouse strains fed two different diets. Three inbred ILSXISS strains were fed high-fat or chow diets and subjected to metabolic phenotyping and metabolomics analysis of skeletal muscle.
Kinome Screen Identifies PFKFB3 and Glucose Metabolism as Important Regulators of the Insulin/Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF)-1 Signaling PathwayBackground: Insulin regulates metabolism via the PI3K/Akt pathway.Results: A kinome siRNA screen identified PFKFB3, a glycolysis regulator, as a modulator of insulin action. Manipulation of PFKFB3 activity or glycolysis affected insulin signaling.Conclusion: Intracellular metabolism modulates important signal transduction pathways.Significance: The novel link between glycolysis and growth factor signaling has important implications for the treatment of metabolic diseases.
Selective Insulin Resistance in AdipocytesAside from glucose metabolism, insulin regulates a variety of pathways in peripheral tissues. Under insulin-resistant conditions, it is well known that insulin-stimulated glucose uptake is impaired, and many studies attribute this to a defect in Akt signaling. Here we make use of several insulin resistance models, including insulin-resistant 3T3-L1 adipocytes and fat explants prepared from high fat-fed C57BL/6J and ob/ob mice, to comprehensively distinguish defective from unaffected aspects of insulin signaling and its downstream consequences in adipocytes.