Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor carboxy-terminal domains are required for EGF-induced glucose transport in transgenic 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Academic Article


  • Insulin-stimulated glucose transport in adipocytes is mediated by the insulin receptor. To ascertain whether a related receptor could also trigger this response, the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) was introduced into adipocytes. 3T3-L1 fibroblasts were infected by a retroviral construct encoding either the full-length (WT) or a carboxy-terminal truncated (c’973) human EGFR; truncation of the amino acids distal to 973 removes all autophosphorylation motifs. After selection and conversion to adipocytes, the level of EGFR expression was retained in infectant adipocytes (150, 000 and 250, 000/cell, respectively), but not in the parental 3T3-L1 adipocytes (< 5000/cell). WT and c’973 EGFR exhibited ligand-dependent tyrosine kinase activity and stimulated mitogen-activated protein kinase activity equivalently; neither phosphorylated insulin receptor substrate-1. WT EGFR, but not c’973 EGFR, underwent ligand-induced autophosphorylation. EGF did not stimulate tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor or insulin receptor substrate-1. EGF had a minimal effect on glucose transport by parental 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Glucose transport in the WT EGFR adipocytes was stimulated equivalently by insulin and EGF; exposure to insulin and EGF in combination did not result in augmented transport. Glucose transport in the c’973 EGFR adipocytes was stimulated by insulin, but not by EGF. GLUT4 was translocated to the plasma membrane to a similar extent in response to insulin or EGF in the WT EGFR adipocytes; only insulin caused a significant GLUT4 translocation in the parental or c’973 EGFR adipocytes. These data suggest that the insulin and EGF signaling pathways that lead to glucose transport converge in these adipocytes down-stream of the insulin receptor, and that activation of this pathway requires signaling motifs in the carboxy-terminus of the EGFR. This model system represents a novel approach with which to dissect signal transduction pathways in terminally differentiated adipocytes. © 1995 by The Endocrine Society.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hardy RW; Gupta KB; McDonald JM; Williford J; Wells A
  • Start Page

  • 431
  • End Page

  • 439
  • Volume

  • 136
  • Issue

  • 2