PTEN, but not SHIP2, suppresses insulin signaling through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



1-Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase; 3T3-L1 Cells; Adipocytes; Animals; Biological Transport; Deoxyglucose; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Gene Deletion; Gene Silencing; Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3; Humans; Insulin; MAP Kinase Signaling System; Mice; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3; PTEN Phosphohydrolase; Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates; Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases; Phosphorylation; Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases; Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases; Proto-Oncogene Proteins; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt; RNA Interference; RNA, Small Interfering; *Signal Transduction; Time Factors; Tumor Suppressor Proteins; src Homology Domains


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Glucose homeostasis is controlled by insulin in part through the stimulation of glucose transport in muscle and fat cells. This insulin signaling pathway requires phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase-mediated 3'-polyphosphoinositide generation and activation of Akt/protein kinase B. Previous experiments using dominant negative constructs and gene ablation in mice suggested that two phosphoinositide phosphatases, SH2 domain-containing inositol 5'-phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) and phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) negatively regulate this insulin signaling pathway. Here we directly tested this hypothesis by selectively inhibiting the expression of SHIP2 or PTEN in intact cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes through the use of short interfering RNA (siRNA). Attenuation of PTEN expression by RNAi markedly enhanced insulin-stimulated Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3alpha (GSK-3alpha) phosphorylation, as well as deoxyglucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In contrast, depletion of SHIP2 protein by about 90% surprisingly failed to modulate these insulin-regulated events under identical assay conditions. In control studies, no diminution of insulin signaling to the mitogen-activated protein kinases Erk1 and Erk2 was observed when either PTEN or SHIP2 were depleted. Taken together, these results demonstrate that endogenous PTEN functions as a suppressor of insulin signaling to glucose transport through the PI 3-kinase pathway in cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

DOI of Published Version



J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 10;280(23):22523-9. Epub 2005 Apr 11. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry

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PubMed ID