Molecular machinery involved in the insulin-regulated fusion of GLUT4-containing vesicles with the plasma membrane

Debbie C. Thurmond, Jeffrey E. Pessin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

59 Scopus citations


The GLUT4 facilitative glucose transporter protein is primarily expressed in muscle and adipose tissue and accounts for the majority of post-prandial glucose uptake. In the basal or nonstimulated state, GLUT4 is localized to intracellular membrane compartments sequestered away from circulating glucose. However, in response to agonist stimulation, there is a marked redistribution of the GLUT4 protein to the cell surface membrane providing a transport route for the uptake of glucose. This GLUT4 translocation can be divided into four general steps: (i) GLUT4 vesicle trafficking out of the storage pool, (ii) docking just below the cell surface, (iii) priming via the interactions of the SNARE proteins present on the vesicular and plasma membranes, and (iv) fusion of the GLUT4 vesicle with the plasma membrane. This review focuses on recent advances made in identification and characterization of the molecular events and protein interactions involved in these steps of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Membrane Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • GLUT4
  • Glucose transporter
  • Insulin
  • Vesicle trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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