Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the most common form of diabetes, is characterized
by insulin resistance in the hepatic and peripheral tissues. Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) plays a
major role in the pathophysiology of T2DM. Its defective expression or translocation to the peripheral
cell plasma membrane in T2DM patients hinders the entrance of glucose into the cell for
energy production. In addition to suitable drugs, an appropriate diet and/or exercise can be implemented
to target the increase in GLUT4 expression, GLUT4 concentrations and GLUT4 translocation
to the cell surface when managing the glucose metabolism of T2DM patients. In this
review, we discussed successful intervention strategies that were individually administered or
coupled with diet and/or exercise and affected the expression and translocation of GLUT4 in T2DM while reducing the excess glucose
load from the blood. Additionally, some potentially good synthetic and natural compounds, which can activate the insulin-independent
GLUT4 signaling pathways for the efficient management of T2DM, are highlighted as possible targets or emerging alternative sources
for future anti-diabetic drug development.
Keywords: Type 2 diabetes mellitus, GLUT4, intervention, exercise, diet, natural compounds.
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