Synergistic effect of endothelin-1 and cyclic AMP on glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Jim C. Fong*, Ying Shiun Kao, Hui Ying Tsai, Yu Ya Chiou, Guang-Yuh Chiou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We have demonstrated previously that chronic exposure to endothlin-1 enhances glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes via augmented GLUT1 mRNA and protein accumulation. In the present study, we further examined the combined effect of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and cAMP on glucose transport. In cells pretreated with ET-1 and 8-bromo cAMP for 8 h, a synergy between these two agents on glucose uptake was found. Insulin-stimulated glucose transport, on the other hand, was only slightly affected. The synergistic effect of these two agents was suppressed in the presence of cycloheximide and actinomycin D. Immunoblot and Northern blot analyses revealed that GLUT1 protein and mRNA levels were both increased in cells pretreated with both ET-1 and 8-bromo cAMP, greater than the additive effect of each agent alone. Further examination demonstrated that the stability of GLUT1 mRNA was markedly enhanced in the presence of both ET-1 and cAMP. To investigate the transcriptional activation of Glut1 gene, transient transfection of cells with luciferase reporter construct driven by Glut1 promoter was performed. We found that Glut1 transcription was also increased by ET-1 and cAMP in a synergistic fashion. In addition, similar synergy between ET-1 and β-adrenergic agonists on glucose transport was found. The synergistic action of ET-1 with 8-bromo cAMP to enhance glucose transport was inhibited by GF109203X, a selective protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, and was mimicked by 4β-phorbol 12β-myristate 13α-acetate (PMA), a PKC activator. Furthermore, PMA was found to act synergistically with 8-bromo cAMP to induce Glut1 transcription and ET-1 was shown to activate novel PKCδ and PKCε. Taken together, these results indicate that ET-1 may act with cAMP in a synergistic way to increase glucose transport, probably through enhanced GLUT1 expression via a PKC-dependent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-821
Number of pages11
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2004


  • 3T3-L1 adipocytes
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Endothelin-1
  • Glucose transport
  • GLUT1
  • mRNA
  • Protein kinase C

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