GLUT4 in cultured skeletal myotubes is segregated from the transferrin receptor and stored in vesicles associated with TGN

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There is little consensus on the nature of the storage compartment of the glucose transporter GLUT4, in non-stimulated cells of muscle and fat. More specifically, it is not known whether GLUT4 is localized to unique, specialized intracellular storage vesicles, or to vesicles that are part of the constitutive endosomal-lysosomal pathway. To address this question, we have investigated the localization of the endogenous GLUT4 in non-stimulated skeletal myotubes from the cell line C2, by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy. We have used a panel of antibodies to markers of the Golgi complex (alpha mannosidase II and giantin), of the trans-Golgi network (TGN38), of lysosomes (lgp110), and of early and late endosomes (transferrin receptor and mannose-6-phosphate receptor, respectively), to define the position of their subcellular compartments. By immunofluorescence, GLUT4 appears concentrated in the core of the myotubes. It is primarily found around the nuclei, in a pattern suggesting an association with the Golgi complex, which is further supported by colocalization with giantin and by immunogold electron microscopy. GLUT4 appears to be in the trans-most cisternae of the Golgi complex and in vesicles just beyond, i.e. in the structures that constitute the trans-Golgi network (TGN). In myotubes treated with brefeldin A, the immunofluorescence pattern of GLUT4 is modified, but it differs from both Golgi complex markers and TGN38. Instead, it resembles the pattern of the transferrin receptor, which forms long tubules. In untreated cells, double staining for GLUT4 and transferrin receptor by immunofluorescence shows similar but distinct patterns. Immunoelectron microscopy localizes transferrin receptor, detected by immunoperoxidase, to large vesicles, presumably endosomes, very close to the GLUT4-containing tubulo-vesicular elements. In brefeldin A-treated cells, a network of tubules of approximately 70 nm diameter, studded with varicosities, stains for both GLUT4 and transferrin receptor, suggesting that brefeldin A has caused fusion of the transferrin receptor and GLUT4-containing compartments. The results suggest that GLUT4 storage vesicles constitute a specialized compartment that is either a subset of the TGN, or is very closely linked to it. The link between GLUT4 vesicles and transferrin receptor containing endosomes, as revealed by brefeldin A, may be important for GLUT4 translocation in response to muscle stimulation.

TidsskriftJournal of Cell Science
Vol/bind109 ( Pt 13)
Sider (fra-til)2967-78
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - dec. 1996

ID: 123666106