Electrical stimuli release ATP to increase GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake via PI3Kγ-Akt-AS160 in skeletal muscle cells

Cesar Osorio-Fuentealba, Ariel E. Contreras-Ferrat, Francisco Altamirano, Alejandra Espinosa, Qing Li, Wenyan Niu, Sergio Lavandero, Amira Klip, Enrique Jaimovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle glucose uptake in response to exercise is preserved in insulin-resistant conditions, but the signals involved are debated. ATP is released from skeletal muscle by contractile activity and can autocrinely signal through purinergic receptors, and we hypothesized it may influence glucose uptake. Electrical stimulation, ATP, and insulin each increased fluorescent 2-NBD-Glucose (2-NBDG) uptake in primary myotubes, but only electrical stimulation and ATP-dependent 2-NBDG uptake were inhibited by adenosine-phosphate phosphatase and by purinergic receptor blockade (suramin). Electrical stimulation transiently elevated extracellular ATP and caused Akt phosphorylation that was additive to insulin and inhibited by suramin. Exogenous ATP transiently activated Akt and, inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) or Akt as well as dominant-negative Akt mutant, reduced ATP-dependent 2-NBDG uptake and Akt phosphorylation. ATP-dependent 2-NBDG uptake was also inhibited by the G protein βγ subunit-interacting peptide βark-ct and by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-γ (PI3Kγ) inhibitor AS605240. ATP caused translocation of GLUT4myc-eGFP to the cell surface, mechanistically mediated by increased exocytosis involving AS160/Rab8A reduced by dominant-negative Akt or PI3Kγ kinase-dead mutants, and potentiated by myristoylated PI3Kγ. ATP stimulated 2-NBDG uptake in normal and insulin-resistant adult muscle fibers, resembling the reported effect of exercise. Hence, the ATP-induced pathway may be tapped to bypass insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1519-1526
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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