An increase in expression of the GLUT1 glucose transporter gene has been observed to be associated with an increase in glucose transport activity upon oncogenic transformation of the cells. Increased expression of this glucose transporter isoform has been also observed in fetal tissues. To investigate the consequences of this phenomenon on cellular metabolism and cell growth, an expression vector containing the GLUT1 glucose transporter complementary DNA was transfected into Chinese hamster ovary cells. Overexpression of this glucose transporter isoform resulted in an increase in not only glucose uptake and utilization but also thymidine uptake when cells were exposed to glucose-deficient conditions. This increase in glucose metabolism and DNA synthesis may play an important role on the growth and/or survival of cancer cells and fetal tissues.
This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan.