Insulin stimulates the rate of glucose uptake into muscle and adipose cells by translocation of glucose transporters from an intracellular storage pool to the plasma membrane. This event requires the prior activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase). Here we report that insulin causes an increase in wortmannin-sensitive PI 3-kinase activity and a gain in the enzyme's regulatory and catalytic subunits p85α and p110β (but not p110α) in the intracellular compartments containing glucose transporters. The hormone also caused a marked reorganization of actin filaments, which was prevented by cytochalasin D. Cytochalasin D also decreased significantly the insulin-dependent association of PI 3-kinase activity and the levels of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, p85α and p110β with immunopurified GLUT4-containing compartments. In contrast, the drug did not alter the insulin-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-1, the association of PI 3-kinase with IRS-1, or the stimulation of PI 3-kinase by insulin in anti-(IRS-1) or anti-p85 immunoprecipitates from whole cell lysates. Cytochalasin D, and the chemically unrelated latrunculin B, which also inhibits actin filament reassembly, prevented the insulin stimulation of glucose transport by approx. 50%. Cytochalasin D decreased by about one-half the insulin-dependent translocation to the plasma membrane of the GLUT1 and GLUT4 glucose transporters. The results suggest that the existence of intact actin filament is correlated with the full recruitment of glucose transporters by insulin. The underlying function of the actin filaments might be to facilitate the insulin-mediated association of the p85–p110 PI 3-kinase with glucose-transporter-containing compartments.

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