The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of anti-retroviral protease inhibitors (PIs) on 2-deoxy-d -glucose (2-DG) transport in L6 cells in vitro. Exposure of L6 cells to saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir and amprenavir resulted in significant increases in 2-DG transport using PI concentrations of 1-10 microM with continual exposure to PI. After removal of the PI for up to 48 h, 2-DG transport increases did not change and remained at pre-reversal levels. These changes in 2-DG transport were not related to stress-induced sugar transport or to apoptosis. The examination of glucose transporter (GLUT) 1, 3 or 4 translocation with subcellular fractionation indicated that insulin (i.e. 67 nM) could induce the translocation of all the GLUTs to the plasma membrane. Also, ritonavir (10 microM), which leads to a 2-fold increase in 2-DG transport, demonstrated increased GLUT (i.e. 1, 3 or 4) presence in the plasma membrane fraction, in the presence or absence of insulin. This increased 2-DG transport involved transporter presence in plasma membrane preparations and did not affect the ability of insulin to stimulate 2-DG transport with continual PI exposure. The mechanism(s) involved indicates ready reversibility of PI effects on transporters. The mechanism(s) why reversibility of PI-induced 2-DG transport was similar plus or minus PI was not apparent.
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