NCX 4016 is a nitric oxide (NO)-donating derivative of acetylsalicylic acid. NO and salicylate, in vivo metabolites of NCX 4016, were shown to be potential actors in controlling glucose homeostasis. In this study, we evaluated the action of NCX 4016 on the capacity of 3T3-L1 adipocytes to transport glucose in basal and insulin-stimulated conditions. NCX 4016 induced a twofold increase in glucose uptake in parallel with the translocation of the glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT4 to the plasma membrane, leaving unaffected their total expression levels. Importantly, NCX 4016 further increased glucose transport induced by a physiological concentration of insulin. The stimulatory effect of NCX 4016 on glucose uptake appears to be mediated by its NO moiety. Indeed, it is inhibited by a NO scavenger and treatment with acetylsalicylic or salicylic acid had no effect. Although NO is involved in the action of NCX 4016, it did not mainly depend on the soluble cGMP cyclase/protein kinase G pathway. Furthermore, NCX 4016-stimulated glucose transport did not involve the insulin-signaling cascade required to stimulate glucose transport. NCX 4016 induces a small activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases p38 and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase and no activation of other stress-activated signaling molecules, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase, inhibitory factor kappaB, or AMP-activated kinases. Interestingly, NCX 4016 modified the content of S-nitrosylated proteins in adipocytes. Taken together, our results indicate that NCX 4016 induced glucose transport in adipocytes through a novel mechanism possibly involving S-nitrosylation. NCX 4016 thus possesses interesting characteristics to be considered as a candidate molecule for the treatment of patients suffering from metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.