Journal of molecular endocrinology

Estradiol-induced regulation of GLUT4 in 3T3-L1 cells: involvement of ESR1 and AKT activation.

PMID 28729437


Impaired insulin-stimulated glucose uptake involves reduced expression of the GLUT4 (solute carrier family 2 facilitated glucose transporter member 4, SLC2A4 gene). 17β-estradiol (E2) modulates SLC2A4/GLUT4 expression, but the involved mechanisms are unclear. Although E2 exerts biological effects by binding to estrogen receptors 1/2 (ESR1/2), which are nuclear transcriptional factors; extranuclear effects have also been proposed. We hypothesize that E2 regulates GLUT4 through an extranuclear ESR1 mechanism. Thus, we investigated the effects of E2 upon (1) subcellular distribution of ESRs and the proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinases (SRC) involvement; (2) serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT) activation; (3) Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression and (4) GLUT4 subcellular distribution and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were cultivated or not with E2 for 24 h, and additionally treated or not with ESR1-selective agonist (PPT), ESR1-selective antagonist (MPP) or selective SRC inhibitor (PP2). Subcellular distribution of ESR1, ESR2 and GLUT4 was analyzed by immunocytochemistry; Slc2a4 mRNA and GLUT4 were quantified by qPCR and Western blotting, respectively; plasma membrane GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake were analyzed under insulin stimulus for 20 min or not. E2 induced (1) translocation of ESR1, but not of ESR2, from nucleus to plasma membrane and AKT phosphorylation, effects mimicked by PPT and blocked by MPP and PP2; (2) increased Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression and (3) increased insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake. In conclusion, E2 treatment promoted a SRC-mediated nucleus-plasma membrane shuttle of ESR1, and increased AKT phosphorylation, Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression and plasma membrane GLUT4 translocation; consequently, improving insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. These results unravel mechanisms through which estrogen improves insulin sensitivity.

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β-Estradiol-Water Soluble, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture