Phenylarsine oxide (PhAsO), a dithiol reagent that blocks insulin stimulation of glucose transport in 3T3 L1 cells, also altered insulin stimulation of intracellular glucose metabolism in Zajdela Hepatoma cultured cells. PhAsO (2 μM) similarly inhibited the insulin-induced glycogen and lipid syntheses without modifying the basal level of these processes, cell viability or the ATP content. Prior incubation of the cells with PhAsO did not prevent insulin binding to the cells, or activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase, while it minimally (16%) altered receptor internalization. These results indicate that cellular dithiols located at a post-receptor step are involved in the transduction of the insulin signal to intracellular glucose metabolism.

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