BACKGROUND: It has been reported that G proteins are involved in biological actions of insulin. Especially, Gi protein is more associated with insulin actions than Gs proteins. Gi protein has at least three different subtypes of Gi 1, Gi 2 and Gi 3 protein. However, it is not certain which subtypes of Gi proteins are associated with biological actions of insulin. METHODS: To investigate which subtypes of Gi proteins are associated with insulin action, we overexpressed three different kinds of Gi protein, Gi 1, Gi 2 and Gi 3 protein, in 3T3-L1 adipocytes using DNA-polylysine-adenovirus complex transfection method. After incubating for 2 hours, 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with 100 nM insulin for the evaluation of biological actions of insulin. Moreover, to elucidate insulin stimulated insulin receptor autophosphorylation and IRS-1 phosphorylation, 3T3-L1 adipocytes were stimulated with 100 nM insulin for 10 minutes, homogenized and immunoprecipitated with anti-phosphotyrosine antibody. RESULTS: Transfection with Gi 2 gene resulted in increment in insulin-stimulated [3H]2-deoxyglucose (DOG) uptake without affecting basal 2-DOG uptake, but not with Gi 1 and Gi 3 gene transfection. There was unchanged glycogen synthesis rate in all three Gialphasubtypes. Insulin-induced increments of insulin receptor autophos phorylation and IRS-1 phosphorylation were found in Gi 2 protein overexpressed group, only. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that Gi 2 protein may be associated with regulation of biological actions of insulin.