The Importance of Glucose Transporters

THE IMPORTANCE OF GLUCOSE TRANSPORTERS

By the end of this course you should know what a glucose transporter is, where the various types are found in the body and the role they play in diabetes.

This should give you an overview of the importance of glucose and how it is transported within the cells of our body.

Before you start...

Key terms and their definitions

–°ombine elements from the left column with the elements on the right
Insulin
 
The passive transfer of molecules down a concentration gradient that goes from high to low.
ATP
 
A form of diabetes where the body does not produce insulin.
GLUT
 
The protein through which glucose can enter a cell.
Passive process
 
A hormone that regulates blood glucose concentration.
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
 
The main form of energy constantly being used and produced by the body.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
 
A form of diabetes where the body does not respond to insulin.
Facilitative Diffusion
 
This does not require energy.

Glucose

Can ATP be stored in the body for later use?

Glucose

Glucose Transporters

Glucose Transporters

Problems with Glucose Transporters in Diabetes

The hormones of the pancreas

Problems with Glucose Transporters in Diabetes

The features of the GLUT1 receptor and its mechanism of action.

Where are they found?

Animation of GLUT1 and glucose transport

Now it's your turn!

  • Glucose binds to GLUT1
  • Conformational change occurs, binding site now faces cell interior
  • Glucose released from GLUT1 to the celll
  • GLUT1 returns to original conformation

Kinetics

–°ombine elements from the left column with the elements on the right
Km
 
Also known as the Michaelis constant, this is the measure of when the reaction is at half the maximum rate.
vMax
 
This is the maximum rate of the reaction. At this point, the graph has levelled off to a constant rate.
Specificity
 
How "fussy" the receptor is. If a receptor is said to not be very specific, then any molecule which is similar to the substrate will be able to bind to the binding site of the receptor.
Affinity
 
How well a substrate is able to remain attached to its binding site.

A graph to show the kinetic properties of GLUT1

The features of the GLUT2 receptor and its mechanism of action.

Where are they found?

Mechanism of action

Kinetics

The features of the GLUT4 receptor and its mechanism of action.

Where are they found?

Animation of GLUT4 and glucose transport

Glucose transport in GLUT4

Kinetics

Mutations in the GLUT4 receptor

What are the respective Kms of GLUT1, GLUT2 and GLUT4?

Why is GLUT4 different to GLUT1 and GLUT2?

Where are the different glucose transporters found?

Diabetes

Diabetes

In your opinion, what area should scientists focus their future research on in order to develop effective treatments for type 2 diabetes?

Relevant research

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