Hepatic expression and cellular distribution of the glucose transporter family

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89 Citations (Scopus)


Glucose and other carbohydrates are transported into cells using members of a family of integral membrane glucose transporter (GLUT) molecules. To date 14 members of this family, also called the solute carrier 2A proteins have been identified which are divided on the basis of transport characteristics and sequence similarities into several families (Classes 1 to 3). The expression of these different receptor subtypes varies between different species, tissues and cellular subtypes and each has differential sensitivities to stimuli such as insulin. The liver is a contributor to metabolic carbohydrate homeostasis and is a major site for synthesis, storage and redistribution of carbohydrates. Situations in which the balance of glucose homeostasis is upset such as diabetes or the metabolic syndrome can lead metabolic disturbances that drive chronic organ damage and failure, confirming the importance of understanding the molecular regulation of hepatic glucose homeostasis. There is a considerable literature describing the expression and function of receptors that regulate glucose uptake and release by hepatocytes, the most import cells in glucose regulation and glycogen storage. However there is less appreciation of the roles of GLUTs expressed by non parenchymal cell types within the liver, all of which require carbohydrate to function. A better understanding of the detailed cellular distribution of GLUTs in human liver tissue may shed light on mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis. This review summarises the available literature on hepatocellular expression of GLUTs in health and disease and highlights areas where further investigation is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6771-81
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2012


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