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Name of Protein

Glucose transporter type 4

Protein Function

Year Discovered

Regulates glucose uptake and energy homeostasis



Glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) is a critical protein involved in glucose homeostasis and energy metabolism. It is a member of the glucose transporter family, which is responsible for facilitating the transport of glucose across cell membranes. GLUT4 is predominantly expressed in insulin-sensitive tissues, such as skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the heart.GLUT4 plays a vital role in regulating glucose uptake in response to insulin, a hormone that controls blood glucose levels. Under normal physiological conditions, GLUT4 is located within intracellular vesicles. Upon insulin stimulation, these vesicles are rapidly translocated to the cell surface, where GLUT4 is inserted into the plasma membrane, allowing glucose to enter the cell. This process, known as insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, is essential for maintaining glucose homeostasis and providing cells with the necessary energy substrates.Dysfunction of GLUT4 or its regulatory pathways can lead to impaired glucose uptake and contribute to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In these conditions, despite normal or even elevated insulin levels, the cells fail to respond effectively to insulin signaling, resulting in reduced GLUT4 translocation and decreased glucose uptake. This causes elevated blood glucose levels, known as hyperglycemia, which is a hallmark of diabetes.Research on GLUT4 has led to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying glucose transport and insulin sensitivity. Various signaling molecules, such as the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and protein kinase B (Akt), have been identified as crucial players in the insulin signaling cascade, regulating GLUT4 translocation and function.In conclusion, glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) is a critical protein responsible for insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in insulin-sensitive tissues. Its function and regulation are essential for maintaining glucose homeostasis and energy metabolism. Dysfunction of GLUT4 or its regulatory pathways can contribute to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. Ongoing research on GLUT4 and its associated signaling pathways may provide novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and related metabolic disorders.

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