Transcript levels of class I GLUTs within individual tissues and the direct relationship between GLUT1 expression and glucose metabolism in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

J Comp Physiol B. 2014 May;184(4):483-96. doi: 10.1007/s00360-014-0810-7. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


GLUTs 1-4 are sodium-independent facilitated glucose transporters and are considered to play a major role in glucose trafficking. The relative transcript levels of GLUTs 1-4 were determined in tissues of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). The distribution profile of GLUTs normalized to RNA is similar to mammals and with a few exceptions other fish. GLUT1 is ubiquitous, GLUT2 is relatively abundant in tissues that release glucose, GLUT3 expression is relatively strong in brain, and GLUT4 is relatively high in heart and muscle. The functionally significant level of transcript is presumably the level in the cell. Normalization of relative GLUT levels to tissue mass reveals there are extremely high levels of GLUT1 transcript in gas gland consistent with the high lactate production rates, GLUT3 is dominant in gill and head kidney as well as brain, and GLUT4 expression in gill is elevated relative to other tissues. Consideration of GLUTs within tissues reveals that GLUT1 is the dominant transcript in a group of tissues including gas gland, heart, white muscle, and RBCs. Brain, gill, and spleen display a co-dominance of GLUTs 1 and 3. There are relatively low levels of GLUT4 in most tissues, the highest being found in white muscle where GLUT4 accounts for only 12 % of the total transcript level. The apparent low level of GLUT4 transcript may reflect two tissues that were not included in the current study, red muscle and adipose tissue, due to their low abundance in Atlantic cod. The rate of glucose metabolism in isolated cells prepared from gas gland, heart, and RBCs was determined by tracking the rate of (3)H2O production from [2-(3)H]-glucose. The steady-state rate of basal glycolysis in these three tissues correlates with relative transcript levels of GLUT1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Gadus morhua / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / classification*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / genetics
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2 / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Glucose