Status of glucose transporters in the mammalian kidney and renal development

Ren Fail. May-Jul 2001;23(3-4):301-10. doi: 10.1081/jdi-100104714.


Glucose is the main source or energy for the mammalian cells and its entry is mediated via various transporters. About 7 facilitative (GULT-1 to -7) and 2 concentrative glucose transporters (SGLT-1 and -2) have been identified. The facilitative glucose transporters allow the glucose entry into the cell interior due to the concentration gradient and the latter via the Na+-dependent electrochemical gradient. They have similar structural motifs with 12-14 putative transmembrane domains with a predicted protein size varying from 50 to 76kDa. Some of the facilitative glucose transporters (GLUT-1, -2, -4 and -5) and both the sodium glucose co-transporters (SGLT-1 and -2) are expressed in the kidney. The transporters that are involved in the major transport of glucose in the kidney include GLUT-2 and SGLT-2. They are of high capacity and low affinity type and are expressed in the S1 segment of the proximal tubule. All the transporters expressed in the kidney are developmentally regulated. The mRNA expression of renal GLUTs is variable during the fetal and postnatal periods. On the other hand the mRNA of SGLTs increases steadily from the fetal period to maturity along with the increase in their functional activity, i.e., glucose uptake. Recent studies indicate that the SGLTs are believed to selectively regulate tubulogenesis since they are expressed in the metanephric tubules very early in the embryonic life in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kidney / embryology*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Mammals
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / physiology*


  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins