Expression of GLUT1 and GLUT3 glucose transporters in endometrial and breast cancers

Pathol Oncol Res. 2012 Jul;18(3):721-8. doi: 10.1007/s12253-012-9500-5. Epub 2012 Jan 21.


Cancer cells have accelerated metabolism and high glucose requirements. The up-regulation of specific glucose transporters may represent a key mechanism by which malignant cells may achieve increased glucose uptake to support the high rate of glycolysis. In present study we analyzed the mRNA and protein expression of GLUT1 and GLUT3 glucose transporters by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) and Western blotting technique in 76 cases of endometrial carcinoma and 70 cases of breast carcinoma. SLC2A1 and SLCA2A3 mRNAs expression was found, respectively in 100% and 97.4% samples of endometrial cancers and only in 50% and 40% samples of breast cancers. In endometrial cancers GLUT1 and GLUT3 protein expression was identified in 67.1% and 30.3% of cases. Analogously, in breast cancers in 48.7% and 21% of samples, respectively. The results showed that both endometrial and breast poorly differentiated tumors (grade 2 and 3) had significantly higher GLUT1 and GLUT3 expression than well-differentiated tumors (grade 1). Statistically significant association was found between SLCA2A3 mRNA expression and estrogen and progesterone receptors status in breast cancers. GLUT1 has been reported to be involved in the uptake of glucose by endometrial and breast carcinoma cells earlier and the present study determined that GLUT3 expression is also involved. GLUT1 and GLUT3 seem to be important markers in endometrial and breast tumors differentiation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / genetics*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / genetics*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / genetics
  • Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SLC2A1 protein, human
  • SLC2A3 protein, human