chapter  8
22 Pages

Effects of Genetic Alterations of Glut4 on Insulin Sensitivity

WithNaira Gorovits, J. Skye Laidlaw, Mollie Ranalletta, Gloria Tannenbaum, Ellen B. Katz, Maureen J. Charron

Glucose is the main monosaccharide that supplies carbon and energy for almost all cells in humans, making the entry of the glucose into cells a crucial step in life supporting processes. Tight regulation of blood glucose levels, insuring adequate glucose flux into tissues, is required in mammals where glucose is the primary energy source of brain tissue (Lund-Andersen, 1979; Pardridge, 1983). Glucose uptake depends on different factors including expression of appropriate glucose transporter proteins and hormonal regulation of their function. Alteration in insulin sensitivity is a primary feature of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (Kahn et al., 2000; Mauvais-Jarvis and Kahn, 2000; Nakae et al., 2001). Therefore, studying insulin action at the molecular level provides a means for understanding the mechanisms of insulin resistance, and the potential for revealing new targets for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.