Glucose entry into muscle cells is precisely regulated by insulin, through recruitment of GLUT4 (glucose transporter-4) to the membrane of muscle and fat cells. Work done over more than two decades has contributed to mapping the insulin signalling and GLUT4 vesicle trafficking events underpinning this response. In spite of this intensive scientific research, there are outstanding questions that continue to challenge us today. The present review summarizes the knowledge in the field, with emphasis on the latest breakthroughs in insulin signalling at the level of AS160 (Akt substrate of 160 kDa), TBC1D1 (tre-2/USP6, BUB2, cdc16 domain family member 1) and their target Rab proteins; in vesicle trafficking at the level of vesicle mobilization, tethering, docking and fusion with the membrane; and in the participation of the cytoskeleton to achieve optimal temporal and spatial location of insulin-derived signals and GLUT4 vesicles.

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