GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Approval Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology


Glucose Transporter Type 1; Forskolin; Cytochalasin B; Academic Dissertations


Carrier mediated nutrient import is vital for cell and tissue homeostasis. Structural insights of carrier mediated transport, particularly the human glucose transporter GLUT1, are essential for understanding the mechanisms of human metabolic disease, and provide model systems for cellular processes as a whole.

GLUT1 function and expression is characterized by a complexity unexplained by the current hypotheses for carrier-mediated sugar transport (9). It is possible that the operational properties of GLUT1 are determined by host cell environment. A glucose transport-null strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae(RE700A) was transfected with the p426 GPD yeast expression vector containing DNA encoding the wild-type human glucose transport protein (GLUT1) to characterize its functional properties. Identical protein sequences generated different kinetic parameters when expressed in RE700A yeast, erythrocytes, and HEK293 cells. These findings support the hypothesis that red cell sugar transport complexity is host cell-specific.

Cytochalasin B (CB) and forskolin (FSK) inhibit GLUT1-mediated sugar transport in red cells by binding at or close to the GLUT1 sugar export site. Paradoxically, very low concentrations of these inhibitors produce a modest stimulation of sugar transport (16). This result is consistent with the hypothesis that the glucose transporter contains multiple, interacting, intracellular binding sites for e1 ligands CB and FSK. The present study tests this hypothesis directly and, by screening a library of cytochalasin and forskolin analogs, asks what structural features of exit site ligands determine binding site affinity and cooperativity. Our findings are explained by a carrier that presents at least two interacting endofacial binding sites for CB or FSK. We discuss this result within the context of GLUT1 quaternary structure and evaluate the major determinants of ligand binding affinity and cooperativity.

Cytochalasin B (CB) inhibits GLUT1 substrate transport at or near the endofacial sugar binding site. N-bromosuccinamide analysis combined with 3H-CB photolabeling implicates the region between Trp388 and Trp412 in ligand binding. Although its structure has been modeled(5), the specific residues comprising the sugar binding site are unknown. A series of alanine point mutants were made, and mutant protein 2-deoxy glucose transport was tested in the presence of increasing [CB]. Arg126Ala and Cys421Ala GLUT1 mutations altered CB affinity but were determined not to be in the e1 site. The Arg400Ala mutation decreased binding affinity for CB, and may comprise part of the e1 binding site. Because point mutations were individually insufficient to abrogate CB binding, Trp388 to Trp412 chimeras were made. GLUT1/GLUT4388-412/GLUT1 and GLUT1/GLUT5388-412/GLUT1 chimeras showed moderately less sensitivity to CB inhibition of transport; these amino acids likely comprise regions determinant of CB binding affinity. Furthermore GLUT1/GLUT5388-412/GLUT1 shows enhancement of 2-DG uptake at 50nM CB, but an overall dose response indistinguishable from WT GLUT1. A multisite fit of the data suggested GLUT1/GLUT5388-412/GLUT1 chimera possesses strong first site affinity for CB but slight negative second-site cooperativity. We conclude that point mutants were insufficient to abrogate CB binding and that the Trp388 to Trp412 sequence is necessary for CB binding affinity but is not the sole determinant of inhibition of 2 deoxyglucose uptake by CB. We discuss these results with their implications for structure-function sequence localization of the CB binding site, and by extension, the e1 sugar binding site.

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