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New Key Publication: Autocrine FGF1 signaling promotes glucose uptake in adipocytes

26 September 2022


Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) is an autocrine growth factor released from adipose tissue during over-nutrition or fasting to feeding transition. While local actions underlie the majority of FGF1's anti-diabetic functions, the molecular mechanisms downstream of adipose FGF receptor signaling are unclear. We investigated the effects of FGF1 on glucose uptake and its underlying mechanism in murine 3T3-L1 adipocytes and in ex vivo adipose explants from mice. FGF1 increased glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and epididymal WAT (eWAT) and inguinal WAT (iWAT). Conversely, glucose uptake was reduced in eWAT and iWAT of FGF1 knockout mice. We show that FGF1 acutely increased adipocyte glucose uptake via activation of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter GLUT4, involving dynamic crosstalk between the MEK1/2 and Akt signaling proteins. Prolonged exposure to FGF1 stimulated adipocyte glucose uptake by MEK1/2-dependent transcription of the basal glucose transporter GLUT1. We have thus identified an alternative pathway to stimulate glucose uptake in adipocytes, independent from insulin, which could open new avenues for treating patients with type 2 diabetes.


  • Vera J M Nies
  • Dicky Struik
  • Sihao Liu
  • Weilin Liu
  • Janine K Kruit
  • Michael Downes
  • Tim van Zutphen
  • Henkjan J Verkade
  • Ronald M Evans
  • Johan W Jonker

Read more: PNAS : Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Oct 4;119(40):e2122382119.

Last modified:27 September 2022 09.19 a.m.

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