GLUT4 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes is repressed by proteasome inhibition, but not by inhibition of calpains

David W. Cooke, Yashomati M. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Because of recent studies showing linkage of type 2 diabetes with the calpain 10 gene, we investigated the ability of calpains to regulate GLUT4 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with the calpain inhibitor ALLN significantly decreased the mRNA and protein expression of GLUT4. GLUT4 expression was not affected by treatment with the more selective calpain inhibitors PD150606, calpeptin, or a calpastatin peptide. In contrast, treatment with the proteasome inhibitors lactacystin or MG132 repressed GLUT4 mRNA level to 35% (10 μM lactacystin) and 12% (10 μM MG132) of control levels. Therefore, the expression of GLUT4 in 3T3-L1 adipocytes was repressed by proteasome inhibition, but not by inhibition of calpains; the effect of ALLN was due to its ability to inhibit proteasome function, rather than its action to inhibit calpains. Concomitant with the repression of GLUT4 mRNA levels, proteasome inhibition decreased GLUT4 protein levels in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The decrease in GLUT4 expression occurred at the transcriptional level, as treatment with proteasome inhibitors decreased GLUT4 transcription measured by a nuclear run-on assay. Thus, these data demonstrate a new pathway for the regulation of GLUT4 expression that involves proteasomal degradation of factors that regulate GLUT4 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 31 2005



  • 3T3-L1 cells
  • Adipocyte
  • Calpain
  • GLUT4
  • Insulin resistance
  • Proteasome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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