Background: Insulin stimulates glucose uptake by adipocytes through increasing translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT4 from an intracellular compartment to the plasma membrane. Fusion of GLUT4-containing vesicles at the cell surface is thought to involve phospholipase D activity, generating the signalling lipid phosphatidic acid, although the mechanism of action is not yet clear. Results: Here we report the identification of a putative phosphatidic acid-binding motif in a GLUT4 intracellular loop. Mutation of this motif causes a decrease in the insulin-induced exposure of GLUT4 at the cell surface of 3T3-L1 adipocytes via an effect on vesicle fusion. Conclusion: The potential phosphatidic acid-binding motif identified in this study is unique to GLUT4 among the sugar transporters, therefore this motif may provide a unique mechanism for regulating insulin-induced translocation by phospholipase D signalling.