New cell-impermeant bis-mannose photolabels have been developed with biotinyl groups attached to 4-(1-azi-2,2,2-trifluoroethyl)-benzoyl-1,3-bis(d-mannos-4-yloxy)-2-propylamine (ATB-BMPA) by either a polyethoxy spacer (Bio-ATB-BMPA) or an additional hexanoic acid spacer (Bio-LC-ATB-BMPA). The half-maximal inhibition constants, Ki values, for inhibition of glucose transport activity in insulin-stimulated rat adipocytes were determined to be 359±10 and 273±28 μM for Bio-ATB-BMPA and Bio-LC-ATB-BMPA, respectively. These values are similar to those previously reported for the non-biotinylated compound ATB-BMPA. Following UV-irradiation-induced cross-linking of the biotinylated photolabels to rat adipocytes, the biotinylated glucose transporter isoform 4 (GLUT4) could be detected by non-radioactive and radioactive methods that utilized the interaction with streptavidin. Biotinylated GLUT4 from 1-2 μg of adipose cell membranes, precipitated onto magnetic streptavidin beads, could be sensitively and quantitatively detected using an electrochemiluminescent assay method. This utilized a ruthenium-tagged anti-GLUT4 antibody that on excitation at an electrode generated an electrochemiluminescent signal in an ORIGEN analyser. Alternatively, surface-biotinylated GLUT4 could be easily, but less sensitively, detected in streptavidin agarose precipitates which were analysed by conventional GLUT4 Western blotting. Data obtained using the non-radioactive methods compared favourably with those using tritiated versions of the biotinylated probes. Insulin treatment of adipocytes increased the levels of signals from surface biotinylated GLUT4 by ~ 10-fold or ~ 20-fold, respectively, when the electrochemiluminescent or the Western blot detection methods were used and these signals were blocked by cytochalasin B.

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