Adipocytes support cAMP-dependent translocation of aquaporin-2 from intracellular sites distinct from the insulin-responsive GLUT4 storage compartment

Giuseppe Procino, Donne Bennett Caces, Giovanna Valenti, Jeffrey E. Pessin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Aquaporin-2 (AQP2), when expressed in fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, displays cAMP-dependent plasma membrane translocation in a manner similar to its behavior in renal epithelial cells. The translocation of AQP2 required phosphorylation at serine 256, as the expression of AQP2/S256D was constitutively plasma membrane localized, whereas AQP2/S256A was refractory to forskolin stimulation. Unlike GLUT4, this property is not inhibited by depolymerization of cortical actin. In addition, coexpression with the dominant negative form of TC10 (TC10/T31N) or inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase did not abrogate the cAMP-mediated response. Under basal conditions, AQP2 is localized in both the perinuclear region and in punctate vesicles scattered within the periphery of the cell. Two- and three-dimensional confocal immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that the adipocyte AQP2 cAMP-responsive compartment was distinct from the GLUT4 insulin-responsive compartment. Consistent with this conclusion, insulin was an effective stimulator of GLUT4 translocation but had no effect on AQP2. Conversely, forskolin induced AQP2 translocation but not GLUT4. Colocalization studies with the early endosomal marker EEA1 and transferrin receptor suggested that the AQP2 compartment is mostly distinct from endosomal vesicles. Interestingly, however, the peripheral AQP2 vesicles significantly overlapped vesicle-associated membrane protein-2, underscoring the role of the latter in hormone-regulated exocytosis. To acquire insulin responsiveness following biosynthesis, GLUT4 undergoes a slow sorting step that requires 6-9 h. In contrast, AQP2 rapidly acquires forskolin responsiveness (3 h following biosynthesis) and directly enters the cAMP-regulated compartment without transiting the plasma membrane. Together, these data demonstrate that adipocytes display two different intracellular sorting mechanisms that direct distinct hormone-sensitive partitioning of GLUT4 and AQP2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F985-F994
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Hormone-regulated exocytosis
  • Renal epithelial cells
  • trans-Golgi network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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