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Rac1 governs exercise-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle through regulation of GLUT4 translocation in mice

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  • Lykke Sylow
  • Ida L Nielsen
  • Maximilian Kleinert
  • Lisbeth L V Møller
  • Thorkil Ploug
  • Peter Schjerling
  • Philip J Bilan
  • Amira Klip
  • Thomas E Jensen
  • Erik A Richter
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KEY POINT: Exercise increases skeletal muscle energy turnover and one of the important substrates for the working muscle is glucose taken up from the blood. The GTPase Rac1 can be activated by muscle contraction and has been found to be necessary for insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, although its role in exercise-stimulated glucose uptake is unknown. We show that Rac1 regulates the translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT4 to the plasma membrane in skeletal muscle during exercise. We find that Rac1 knockout mice display significantly reduced glucose uptake in skeletal muscle during exercise.

ABSTRACT: Exercise increases skeletal muscle energy turnover and one of the important substrates for the working muscle is glucose taken up from the blood. Despite extensive efforts, the signalling mechanisms vital for glucose uptake during exercise are not yet fully understood, although the GTPase Rac1 is a candidate molecule. The present study investigated the role of Rac1 in muscle glucose uptake and substrate utilization during treadmill exercise in mice in vivo. Exercise-induced uptake of radiolabelled 2-deoxyglucose at 65% of maximum running capacity was blocked in soleus muscle and decreased by 80% and 60% in gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles, respectively, in muscle-specific inducible Rac1 knockout (mKO) mice compared to wild-type littermates. By developing an assay to quantify endogenous GLUT4 translocation, we observed that GLUT4 content at the sarcolemma in response to exercise was reduced in Rac1 mKO muscle. Our findings implicate Rac1 as a regulatory element critical for controlling glucose uptake during exercise via regulation of GLUT4 translocation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of physiology
Volume594
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)4997-5008
Number of pages12
ISSN0022-3751
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 49639680