The clinical use of several first generation HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) is associated with the development of insulin resistance. Indinavir has been shown to act as a potent reversible noncompetitive inhibitor of zero-trans glucose influx via direct interaction with the insulin responsive facilitative glucose transporter GLUT4. Newer drugs within this class have differing effects on insulin sensitivity in treated patients. GLUTs are known to contain two distinct glucose-binding sites that are located on opposite sides of the lipid bilayer. To determine whether interference with the cytoplasmic glucose binding site is responsible for differential effects of PIs on glucose transport, intact intracellular membrane vesicles containing GLUT1 and GLUT4, which have an inverted transporter orientation relative to the plasma membrane, were isolated from 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The binding of biotinylated ATB-BMPA, a membrane impermeable bis-mannose containing photolabel, was determined in the presence of indinavir, ritonavir, atazanavir, tipranavir, and cytochalasin b. Zero-trans 2-deoxyglucose transport was measured in both 3T3-L1 fibroblasts and primary rat adipocytes acutely exposed to these compounds. PI inhibition of glucose transport correlated strongly with the PI inhibition of ATB-BMPA/transporter binding. At therapeutically relevant concentrations, ritonavir was not selective for GLUT4 over GLUT1. Indinavir was found to act as a competitive inhibitor of the cytoplasmic glucose binding site of GLUT4 with a KI of 8.2 µM. These data establish biotinylated ATB-BMPA as an effective probe to quantify accessibility of the endofacial glucose-binding site in GLUTs and reveal that the ability of PIs to block this site differs among drugs within this class. This provides mechanistic insight into the basis for the clinical variation in drug-related metabolic toxicity
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