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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glucose transporter expression in human skeletal muscle fibers.

The present study was initiated to investigate GLUT-1 through -5 expression in developing and mature human skeletal muscle. To bypass the problems inherent in techniques using tissue homogenates, we applied an immunocytochemical approach, employing the sensitive enhanced tyramide signal amplification (TSA) technique to detect the localization of glucose transporter expression in human skeletal muscle. We found expression of GLUT-1, GLUT-3, and GLUT-4 in developing human muscle fibers showing a distinct expression pattern. 1) GLUT-1 is expressed in human skeletal muscle cells during gestation, but its expression is markedly reduced around birth and is further reduced to undetectable levels within the first year of life; 2) GLUT-3 protein expression appears at 18 wk of gestation and disappears after birth; and 3) GLUT-4 protein is diffusely expressed in muscle cells throughout gestation, whereas after birth, the characteristic subcellular localization is as seen in adult muscle fibers. Our results show that GLUT-1, GLUT-3, and GLUT-4 seem to be of importance during muscle fiber growth and development. GLUT-5 protein was undetectable in fetal and adult skeletal muscle fibers. In adult muscle fibers, only GLUT-4 was expressed at significant levels. GLUT-1 immunoreactivity was below the detection limit in muscle fibers, indicating that this glucose transporter is of minor importance for muscle glucose supply. Thus we hypothesize that GLUT-4 also mediates basal glucose transport in muscle fibers, possibly through constant exposure to tonal contraction and basal insulin levels.[1]


  1. Glucose transporter expression in human skeletal muscle fibers. Gaster, M., Handberg, A., Beck-Nielsen, H., Schroder, H.D. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. (2000) [Pubmed]
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