A glucose sensor hiding in a family of transporters Article

Díez-Sampedro, A, Hirayama, BA, Osswald, C et al. (2003). A glucose sensor hiding in a family of transporters . PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 100(20), 11753-11758. 10.1073/pnas.1733027100

cited authors

  • Díez-Sampedro, A; Hirayama, BA; Osswald, C; Gorboulev, V; Baumgarten, K; Volk, C; Wright, EM; Koepsell, H


  • We have examined the expression and function of a previously undescribed human member (SGLT3/SLC5A4) of the sodium/glucose cotransporter gene family (SLC5) that was first identified by the chromosome 22 genome project. The cDNA was cloned and sequenced, confirming that the gene coded for a 659-residue protein with 70% amino acid identity to the human SGLT1. RT-PCR and Western blotting showed that the gene was transcribed and mRNA was translated in human skeletal muscle and small intestine. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that in the small intestine the protein was expressed in cholinergic neurons in the submucosal and myenteric plexuses, but not in enterocytes. In skeletal muscle SGLT3 immunoreactivity colocalized with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Functional studies using the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system showed that hSGLT3 was incapable of sugar transport, even though SGLT3 was efficiently inserted into the plasma membrane. Electrophysiological assays revealed that glucose caused a specific, phlorizin-sensitive, Na +-dependent depolarization of the membrane potential. Uptake assays under voltage clamp showed that the glucose-induced inward currents were not accompanied by glucose transport. We suggest that SGLT3 is not a Na +/glucose cotransporter but instead a glucose sensor in the plasma membrane of cholinergic neurons, skeletal muscle, and other tissues. This points to an unexpected role of glucose and SLC5 proteins in physiology, and highlights the importance of determining the tissue expression and function of new members of gene families.

publication date

  • September 30, 2003

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 11753

end page

  • 11758


  • 100


  • 20