E4orf1 Enhances Glucose Uptake Independent of Proximal Insulin Signaling

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Impaired proximal insulin signaling is often present in diabetes. Hence, approaches to enhance glucose disposal independent of proximal insulin signaling are desirable. Evidence indicates that Adenovirus-derived E4orf1 protein may offer such an approach. This study determined if E4orf1 improves insulin sensitivity and downregulates proximal insulin signaling in vivo and enhances cellular glucose uptake independent of proximal insulin signaling in vitro. High fat fed mice were injected with a retrovirus plasmid expressing E4orf1, or a null vector. E4orf1 significantly improved insulin sensitivity in response to a glucose load. Yet, their proximal insulin signaling in fat depots was impaired, as indicated by reduced tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor (IR), and significantly increased abundance of ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase-1 (ENPP1). In 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes E4orf1 expression impaired proximal insulin signaling. Whereas, treatment with rosiglitazone reduced ENPP1 abundance. Unaffected by IR-KD (insulin receptor knockdown) with siRNA, E4orf1 significantly up-regulated distal insulin signaling pathway and enhanced cellular glucose uptake. In vivo, E4orf1 impairs proximal insulin signaling in fat depots yet improves glycemic control. This is probably explained by the ability of E4orf1 to promote cellular glucose uptake independent of proximal insulin signaling. E4orf1 may provide a therapeutic template to enhance glucose disposal in the presence of impaired proximal insulin signaling.

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PloS one

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