Abstract

Amino acids are increasingly recognised as modulators of nutrient disposal, including their role in regulating blood glucose through interactions with insulin signalling. More recently, cellular membrane transporters of amino acids have been shown to form a pivotal part of this regulation as they are primarily responsible for controlling cellular and circulating amino acid concentrations. The availability of amino acids regulated by transporters can amplify insulin secretion and modulate insulin signalling in various tissues. In addition, insulin itself can regulate the expression of numerous amino acid transporters. This review focuses on amino acid transporters linked to the regulation of insulin secretion and signalling with a focus on those of the small intestine, pancreatic β-islet cells and insulin-responsive tissues, liver and skeletal muscle. We summarise the role of the amino acid transporter B0AT1 (SLC6A19) and peptide transporter PEPT1 (SLC15A1) in the modulation of global insulin signalling via the liver-secreted hormone fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). The role of vesicular vGLUT (SLC17) and mitochondrial SLC25 transporters in providing glutamate for the potentiation of insulin secretion is covered. We also survey the roles SNAT (SLC38) family and LAT1 (SLC7A5) amino acid transporters play in the regulation of and by insulin in numerous affective tissues. We hypothesise the small intestine amino acid transporter B0AT1 represents a crucial nexus between insulin, FGF21 and incretin hormone signalling pathways. The aim is to give an integrated overview of the important role amino acid transporters have been found to play in insulin-regulated nutrient signalling.

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