Localization of the pancreatic beta cell glucose transporter to specific plasma membrane domains

Science  21 Jul 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4915, pp. 295-297
DOI: 10.1126/science.2665080


Immunocytochemical techniques revealed that the "liver-type" glucose transporter is present in the insulin-producing beta cells of rat pancreatic islets but not in other islet endocrine cells. Ultrastructural analysis of the transporter by the protein A-gold technique showed that it is restricted to certain domains of the plasma membrane, its density being sixfold higher in microvilli facing adjacent endocrine cells than in the flat regions of the plasma membrane. These results support a possible role for this glucose transporter in glucose sensing by beta cells and provide evidence that these cells are polarized.

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