The cellular fate of glucose and its relevance in type 2 diabetes

Endocr Rev. 2004 Oct;25(5):807-30. doi: 10.1210/er.2003-0026.


Type 2 diabetes is a complex disorder with diminished insulin secretion and insulin action contributing to the hyperglycemia and wide range of metabolic defects that underlie the disease. The contribution of glucose metabolic pathways per se in the pathogenesis of the disease remains unclear. The cellular fate of glucose begins with glucose transport and phosphorylation. Subsequent pathways of glucose utilization include aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, glycogen formation, and conversion to other intermediates in the hexose phosphate or hexosamine biosynthesis pathways. Abnormalities in each pathway may occur in diabetic subjects; however, it is unclear whether perturbations in these may lead to diabetes or are a consequence of the multiple metabolic abnormalities found in the disease. This review is focused on the cellular fate of glucose and relevance to human type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cells / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glycogen / biosynthesis
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Hexosamines / biosynthesis
  • Hexosephosphates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Pentose Phosphate Pathway
  • Pentoses / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation


  • Hexosamines
  • Hexosephosphates
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Pentoses
  • Glycogen
  • Glucose