Investigation of the Expression of Glucose Transporter Proteins in Human Cancer Cells
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Cancer cells are known to display increased glucose uptake and consumption. The glucose transporter (GLUT) proteins facilitate glucose uptake, however, their exact role in cancer metabolism remains unclear. The present study examined mRNA and protein expression of GLUT1, GLUT3, GLUT4 and GLUT12 in lung, breast and prostate cancer cells and corresponding noncancerous cells. Additionally, GLUT expression was determined in tumours from mice xenografted with human cancer cells. Differences in the mRNA and protein expression of GLUTs were found between cancerous and corresponding noncancerous cells. These findings demonstrate abundant expression of GLUT1 in cancer and highlight the importance of GLUT3 as it was expressed in several cancer cells and tumours. GLUT expression patterns in vitro were supported by the in vivo findings. The study of GLUT protein expression in cancer is important for understanding cancer metabolism and may lead to identification of biomarkers of cancer progression and development of target therapies.