Evaluating the Efficacy of GLUT Inhibitors Using a Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer

Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1713:69-75. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7507-5_6.


Glucose is metabolized through anaerobic glycolysis and aerobic oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Perturbing glucose uptake and its subsequent metabolism can alter both glycolytic and OXPHOS pathways and consequently lactate and/or oxygen consumption. Production and secretion of lactate, as a consequence of glycolysis, leads to acidification of the extracellular medium. Molecular oxygen is the final electron acceptor in the electron transport chain, facilitating oxidative phosphorylation of ADP to ATP. The alterations in extracellular acidification and/or oxygen consumption can thus be used as indirect readouts of glucose metabolism and assessing the impact of inhibiting glucose transport through specific glucose transporters (GLUTs). The Seahorse bioenergetics analyzer can measure both the oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). The proposed methodology affords a robust, high-throughput method to screen for GLUT inhibition in cells engineered to express specific GLUTs, providing live cell read-outs upon GLUT inhibition.

Keywords: ECAR; GLUT inhibitor; Glycolysis; Oxidative phosphorylation; Seahorse XF analyzer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Line
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Drug Discovery* / methods
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / genetics
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism*
  • Glycolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Smegmamorpha / metabolism*
  • Software


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative