The rapid increase in protein synthesis that occurs on addition of insulin (1 mU/ml) to stepped-down 3T3 cells was blocked by pre-incubation of the cells with pertussis toxin. Cholera toxin on the other hand stimulated protein synthesis and this effect was insensitive to actinomycin D and inhibited by pro-treatment of the cells with phorbol dibutyrate to deplete cell protein kinase C. Insulin was found to cause a rapid and transient increase in diacylglycerol (DAG) synthesis. The insulin-induced increase in diacylglycerol was blocked by pertussis toxin. Exogenous DAG (10 μM) stimulated protein synthesis within 1 hour. The results suggest that insuIin stimulates ribosomal activity through a signal mechanism that involves a G-protein mediated activation of phospholipase C to increase DAG levels.

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