Studies designed to elucidate the mechanism of regulation of the GLUT1 isoform of the glucose transporter in response to a variety of cellular stresses are reviewed. Using ts mutants of vesicular stomatitis virus, it was shown that the viral L gene was responsible for the stimulation of glucose transport in infected cells. Immunofluorescence of GLUT1 demonstrated that the increase in glucose transport was the consequence of a translocation of the transporter from a reservoir in cytoplasmic vesicles to the plasma membrane. When cells were cycled between deficient and standard medium, the change in glucose transport rates was paralleled by a cycling of the transporter between the plasma membrane and the cytoplasmic vesicles. The redistribution of GLUT1 was not a consequence of a general redistribution of recycling plasma membrane proteins. Instead, the findings focus attention on the regulated exocytosis of specific membrane constituents in cells that, until recently, were not thought to exhibit this capacity.

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