International journal of molecular sciences

3-O-Acyl-epicatechins Increase Glucose Uptake Activity and GLUT4 Translocation through Activation of PI3K Signaling in Skeletal Muscle Cells.

PMID 26193264


Tea catechins promote glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells. In this study, we investigated whether the addition of an acyl group to the C-3 position of catechins to generate 3-O-acyl-catechins promoted glucose uptake in L6 myotubes. 3-O-Myristoyl-(-)-epicatechin (EC-C14) and 3-O-palmitoyl-(-)-epicatechin (EC-C16) promoted glucose uptake and translocation of glucose transporter (GLUT) 4 in the cells. The effect of 3-O-acyl-(-)-epicatechins was stronger than that of (-)-epicatechin (EC), whereas neither 3-O-myristoyl-(+)-catechin (C-C14) nor 3-O-palmitoyl-(+)catechin (C-C16) promoted glucose uptake or GLUT4 translocation as well as (+)-catechin (C). We further investigated an affinity of catechins and 3-O-acyl-catechins to the lipid bilayer membrane by using surface plasma resonance analysis. Maximum binding amounts of EC-C16 and C-C16 to the lipid bilayer clearly increased compared with that of (-)-EC and (+)-C, respectively. We also examined the mechanism of GLUT4 translocation and found EC-C14 and EC-C16 induced the phosphorylation of PI3K, but did not affect phosphorylation of Akt or IR. In conclusion, the addition of an acyl group to the C-3 position of (-)-EC increases its affinity for the lipid bilayer membrane and promotes GLUT4 translocation through PI3K-dependent pathways in L6 myotubes.