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Go-6976 reverses hyperglycemia-induced insulin resistance independently of cPKC inhibition in adipocytes.



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Robinson, Katherine A 
Hegyi, Krisztina 
Hannun, Yusuf A 
Buse, Maria G 
Sethi, Jaswinder K 


Chronic hyperglycemia induces insulin resistance by mechanisms that are incompletely understood. One model of hyperglycemia-induced insulin resistance involves chronic preincubation of adipocytes in the presence of high glucose and low insulin concentrations. We have previously shown that the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) plays a partial role in the development of insulin resistance in this model. Here, we demonstrate that treatment with Go-6976, a widely used "specific" inhibitor of cPKCs, alleviates hyperglycemia-induced insulin resistance. However, the effects of mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin and Go-6976 were not additive and only rapamycin restored impaired insulin-stimulated AKT activation. Although, PKCα, (but not -β) was abundantly expressed in these adipocytes, our studies indicate cPKCs do not play a major role in causing insulin-resistance in this model. There was no evidence of changes in the expression or phosphorylation of PKCα, and PKCα knock-down did not prevent the reduction of insulin-stimulated glucose transport. This was also consistent with lack of IRS-1 phosphorylation on Ser-24 in hyperglycemia-induced insulin-resistant adipocytes. Treatment with Go-6976 did inhibit a component of the mTORC1 pathway, as evidenced by decreased phosphorylation of S6 ribosomal protein. Raptor knock-down enhanced the effect of insulin on glucose transport in insulin resistant adipocytes. Go-6976 had the same effect in control cells, but was ineffective in cells with Raptor knock-down. Taken together these findings suggest that Go-6976 exerts its effect in alleviating hyperglycemia-induced insulin-resistance independently of cPKC inhibition and may target components of the mTORC1 signaling pathway.


This paper was originally published in PLOS ONE (Robinson KA, Hegyi K, Hannun YA, Buse MG, Sethi JK, PLoS ONE 2014, 9(10): e108963. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108963).


3T3-L1 Cells, Adipocytes, Animals, Carbazoles, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Hyperglycemia, Insulin, Insulin Resistance, Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1, Mice, Multiprotein Complexes, Protein Kinase C-alpha, Signal Transduction, TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases

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PLoS One

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
This work was supported by grants from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (David Phillips Fellowship, JF16994), Diabetes UK (BDA:RD06/0003237) and British Heart Foundation (PG/10/38/28359) to J.K. Sethi and also from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DK-02001) to M.G. Buse.