Insulin stimulates glucose transport in muscle and adipocytes. This is achieved by regulated delivery of intracellular glucose transporter (GLUT4)-containing vesicles to the plasma membrane where they dock and fuse, resulting in increased cell surface GLUT4 levels. Recent work identified a potential further regulatory step, in which insulin increases the dispersal of GLUT4 in the plasma membrane away from the sites of vesicle fusion. EFR3 is a scaffold protein that facilitates localisation of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase type IIIa to the cell surface. Here we show that knockdown of EFR3 or phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase type IIIa impairs insulin-stimulated glucose transport in adipocytes. Using direct stochastic reconstruction microscopy, we also show that EFR3 knockdown impairs insulin stimulated GLUT4 dispersal in the plasma membrane. We propose that EFR3 plays a previously unidentified role in controlling insulin-stimulated glucose transport by facilitating dispersal of GLUT4 within the plasma membrane.

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