Transport, metabolism, and endosomal trafficking-dependent regulation of intestinal fructose absorption

FASEB J. 2015 Sep;29(9):4046-58. doi: 10.1096/fj.15-272195. Epub 2015 Jun 12.


Dietary fructose that is linked to metabolic abnormalities can up-regulate its own absorption, but the underlying regulatory mechanisms are not known. We hypothesized that glucose transporter (GLUT) protein, member 5 (GLUT5) is the primary fructose transporter and that fructose absorption via GLUT5, metabolism via ketohexokinase (KHK), as well as GLUT5 trafficking to the apical membrane via the Ras-related protein-in-brain 11 (Rab11)a-dependent endosomes are each required for regulation. Introducing fructose but not lysine and glucose solutions into the lumen increased by 2- to 10-fold the heterogeneous nuclear RNA, mRNA, protein, and activity levels of GLUT5 in adult wild-type mice consuming chow. Levels of GLUT5 were >100-fold that of candidate apical fructose transporters GLUTs 7, 8, and 12 whose expression, and that of GLUT 2 and the sodium-dependent glucose transporter protein 1 (SGLT1), was not regulated by luminal fructose. GLUT5-knockout (KO) mice exhibited no facilitative fructose transport and no compensatory increases in activity and expression of SGLT1 and other GLUTs. Fructose could not up-regulate GLUT5 in GLUT5-KO, KHK-KO, and intestinal epithelial cell-specific Rab11a-KO mice. The fructose-specific metabolite glyceraldehyde did not increase GLUT5 expression. GLUT5 is the primary transporter responsible for facilitative absorption of fructose, and its regulation specifically requires fructose uptake and metabolism and normal GLUT5 trafficking to the apical membrane.

Keywords: GLUT5; Rab11a; ketohexokinase; sugar.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active / physiology
  • Endosomes / genetics
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Fructokinases / genetics
  • Fructokinases / metabolism
  • Fructose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / genetics
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 5
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 1 / genetics
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 1 / metabolism
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Glucose Transporter Type 5
  • Slc2a5 protein, mouse
  • Slc5a1 protein, mouse
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 1
  • Fructose
  • Fructokinases
  • ketohexokinase
  • rab11 protein
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins