The effect of insulin-deficient diabetic states on the rat liver glucose-transporter (L-transporter isoform) protein and mRNA levels were studied. Rats were injected with 65 mg/kg streptozocin to induce diabetes and were maintained for 10 days and then treated with or without insulin for the next 5 days. The L-transporter isoform with apparent Mr of 55,000 was observed to be increased approximately twofold in the membranes from liver homogenates of diabetic rats compared with control rats when assessed by Western blot analysis with an anti-peptide antibody directed against rat L-transporter isoform. Insulin treatment of diabetic rats decreased the amount of L-transporter isoform protein toward levels observed in nondiabetic rats. Northern blot analysis demonstrated similar alterations in the rat L-transporter isoform mRNA that paralleled the changes observed in the L-transporter isoform protein. The increased levels of the L-transporter isoform protein and mRNA in diabetic rats are in marked contrast to the effects of insulin deficiency in rat adipocytes, which specifically decrease the amount of the adipocyte glucose-transporter isoform protein and mRNA. These results suggest that glucose-transporter isoforms in rat liver and adipocytes are regulated by different mechanisms and that an increased synthesis of the L-transporter isoform may contribute to the increased glucose output that occurs from the liver during insulin deficiency.

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