Disruption of cortical actin in skeletal muscle demonstrates an essential role of the cytoskeleton in glucose transporter 4 translocation in insulin-sensitive tissues

Joseph T. Brozinick, Eric D. Hawkins, Andrew B. Strawbridge, Jeffrey S. Elmendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations


Cell culture work suggests that signaling to polymerize cortical filamentous actin (F-actin) represents a required pathway for the optimal redistribution of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter, GLUT4, to the plasma membrane. Recent in vitro study further suggests that the actin-regulatory neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) mediates the effect of insulin on the actin filament network. Here we tested whether similar cytoskeletal mechanics are essential for insulin-regulated glucose transport in isolated rat epitrochlearis skeletal muscle. Microscopic analysis revealed that cortical F-actin is markedly diminished in muscle exposed to latrunculin B. Depolymerization of cortical F-actin with latrunculin B caused a time- and concentration-dependent decline in 2-deoxyglucose transport. The loss of cortical F-actin and glucose transport was paralleled by a decline in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation, as assessed by photolabeling of cell surface GLUT4 with Bio-LC-ATB-BMPA. Although latrunculin B impaired insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation and glucose transport, activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt by insulin was not rendered ineffective. In contrast, the ability of insulin to elicit the cortical F-actin localization of N-WASP was abrogated. These data provide the first evidence that actin cytoskeletal mechanics are an essential feature of the glucose transport process in intact skeletal muscle. Furthermore, these findings support a distal actin-based role for N-WASP in insulin action in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40699-40706
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number39
StatePublished - Sep 24 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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