Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Jingshi Shen

Second Advisor

Jerry Rudy

Third Advisor

Ryan Bachtell


Insulin resistance has become a prominent issue in the United States, causing serious comorbid conditions. One crucial step in insulin response in adipose and muscle tissue is the movement of glucose transporter GLUT4 to the cell surface from storage vesicles. This process requires the SNARE complex to drive membrane fusion. Munc18b and Munc18c are syntaxin binding proteins associated with the SNARE complex during fusion. While protein binding assays have revealed interactions of these proteins, their function in GLUT4 translocation has not been well understood. In an effort to establish the role of these proteins in GLUT4 translocation and insulin response, we performed a single knockout experiment in a mouse adipocyte cell line. When insulin mediated GLUT4 translocation did not change significantly, we performed a double knockout experiment. Following double knockout, the ability of these adipocytes to translocate GLUT4 from storage vesicles to the plasma membrane was observed to decrease dramatically. These results indicate an important role for Munc18b and Munc18c in SNARE complex formation and in insulin response.

Included in

Cell Biology Commons