GLUT proteins are encoded by the SLC2 genes and are members of the major facilitator superfamily of membrane transporters. Fourteen GLUT proteins are expressed in the human and they are categorized into three classes based on sequence similarity. All GLUTs appear to transport hexoses or polyols when expressed ectopically, but the primary physiological substrates for several of the GLUTs remain uncertain. GLUTs 1-5 are the most thoroughly studied and all have well established roles as glucose and/or fructose transporters in various tissues and cell types. The GLUT proteins are comprised of ∼500 amino acid residues, possess a single N-linked oligosaccharide, and have 12 membrane-spanning domains. In this review we briefly describe the major characteristics of the 14 GLUT family members.
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