Insulin and glucose-dependent regulation of the glucose transport system in the rat L6 skeletal muscle cell line

P. S. Walker, T. Ramlal, J. A. Donovan, T. P. Doering, A. Sandra, A. Klip, J. E. Pessin

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88 Scopus citations


Differentiated rat L6 skeletal muscle cell cultures maintained in glucose-deficient medium containing 25 mM xylose displayed a rapid, reversible, time- and concentration-dependent 3-5-fold increase in glucose transport activity. Glucose deprivation in the continuous presence of insulin (24 h) resulted in an overall 9-10-fold stimulation of glucose transport activity. In contrast, acute (30 min) and chronic (24 h) insulin treatment of L6 cells maintained in high glucose (25 mM)-containing medium resulted in a 1.5- and 4-fold induction of glucose transport activity, respectively. Acute glucose deprivation and/or insulin treatment had no significant effect on the total amount of glucose transport protein, whereas the long-term insulin- and glucose-dependent regulation of glucose transport activity directly correlated with an increase in the cellular expression of the glucose transporter protein. In situ hybridization of the L6 cells demonstrated a 3-, 4-, and 6-fold increase in glucose transporter mRNA induced by glucose deprivation, insulin, and glucose deprivation plus insulin treatments, respectively. Similarly, Northern blot analysis of total RNA isolated from glucose-deprived, insulin, and glucose-deprived plus insulin-treated cells resulted in a 4-, 3-, and 9-fold induction of glucose transporter mRNA, respectively. The continuous presence of insulin in the medium, either in the presence or absence of glucose, resulted in a transient alteration of the glucose transporter mRNA. The relative amount of the glucose transporter mRNA was maximally increased at 6-12 h which subsequently returned to the basal steady-state level within 48 h. These data demonstrate a role for insulin and glucose in the overall regulation of glucose transporter gene expression which may account for the alteration of glucose transporter activity of muscle tissue observed in pathophysiological states such as type II diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6587-6595
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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