Insulin stimulates trafficking of GLUT4 to the cell surface for glucose uptake into target cells, and phosphorylation of Ser703 of the Na+/H+ exchanger NHE1, which activates proton efflux. The latter has been proposed to facilitate optimal glucose uptake into cardiomyocytes. We found that the insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Ser703 of NHE1 is mediated by p90RSK but not directly coupled to glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in the short-term. Inhibiting Erk1/2 activation prevented NHE1 phosphorylation but not glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In contrast, both NHE1 phosphorylation and insulin-stimulated uptake of glucose into 3T3-L1 adipocytes were blocked by inhibitors of the N-terminal kinase domain of p90RSK, namely BI-D1870 and SL0101, but not the FMK inhibitor of the C-terminal kinase domain of p90RSK, though in our hands FMK did not inhibit p90RSK in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Further experiments were consistent with phosphorylation of AS160 by PKB/Akt mediating insulin-stimulated trafficking of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. BI-D1870 and SL0101 however, inhibited glucose uptake without blocking GLUT4 translocation. While BI-D1870 partially inhibited insulin-stimulated PKB activation in these cells, this only partially inhibited AS] 60 phosphorylation and did not block GLUT4 trafficking, suggesting that p90RSK might regulate glucose transport after GLUT4 translocation. Moreover, BI-D1870 also prevented PMA-induced glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes further suggesting a role for p90RSK in regulating uptake of glucose into the cells. Kinetic experiments are consistent with SL0101 being a direct competitor of 2-deoxyglucose entry into cells, and this compound might also inhibit uptake of glucose into cells via inhibiting p90RSK, as revealed by comparison with the inactive form of the inhibitor. Taken together, we propose that BI-D1870 and SL0101 might exert their inhibitory effects on glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes at least partially through a p90RSK dependent step after GLUT4 becomes associated with the plasma membrane. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.