The kinetics of glucose transport in human red blood cells

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1986 May 28;857(2):146-54. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(86)90342-1.


A quenched-flow apparatus and a newly developed automated syringe system have been used to measure initial rates of D-[14C]glucose transport into human red blood cells at temperatures ranging from 0 degrees to 53 degrees C. The Haldane relationship is found to be obeyed satisfactorily at both 0 and 20 degrees C, but Arrhenius plots of maximum D-[14C]glucose transport rates are non-linear under conditions of both equilibrium exchange and zero trans influx. Fitting of the data by non-linear regression to the conventional model for glucose transport gives values at 0 degrees C of 0.726 +/- 0.0498 s-1 and 12.1 +/- 0.98 s-1 for the rate constants governing outward and inward movements of the unloaded carrier molecule and 90.3 +/- 3.47 s-1 and 1113 +/- 494 s-1 for outward and inward movements of the carrier-glucose complex. Activation energies for these four rate constants are respectively 173 +/- 3.10, 127 +/- 4.78, 88.0 +/- 6.17 and 31.7 +/- 5.11 kJ X mol-1. These parameters indicate that at low temperatures the marked asymmetry of the transport mechanism arises mainly from the high proportion of inward-facing carriers and carrier-glucose complexes, and that there is a relatively small difference between the affinities of the carrier for glucose in the inward and outward-facing conformations. At high (physiological) temperatures the carrier is fairly evenly distributed between outward- and inward-facing conformations and the affinity for glucose is about 2.5-times greater outside than inside.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Mathematics
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Temperature


  • Blood Glucose
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins