GLUT Erythroid Brain Carrier

GLUT 1 is the glucose transporter in the human red cell. The first to be characterized by molecular cloning ( 9), it consists of 492 amino acid residues (TableA^. The gene for its expression is located on chromosome 1. GLUT 1 is widely distributed in many tissues including heart, kidney, adipose cells, fibroblasts, placenta, retina, and brain, but little is expressed in muscle or liver. Since there is particularly high expression in the endothelial cells of the microvessels of the brain, it forms part of the blood-brain barrier (17). The transport process for D-glucose in the red cell is asymmetrical, as the affinity (K m) for D-glucose uptake is approximately 1 to 2 mmol/L while the Km for the exit of glucose is 20 to 30 mmol/L. This asymmetry appears to be allosterically regulated by the binding of intracellular metabolites and inhibited by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (18). The asymmetry allows the transporter to be effective when the extracellular glucose is low and the intracellular demand high.

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