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

Loss of glucose transport in developing avian red cells.

Although red cells are generally associated with significant glucose transport and dependence on glycolysis, the mature red cells of some species (e.g. pig) show very low glucose transport. The generally low level of glucose transport in mature mammalian red cells is the result of maturational development, since it has been shown that even in red cells which have negligible glucose transport (e.g. pig red cells) the corresponding reticulocytes have significant glucose transport activity. The reticulocytes of the chicken, however, show minimal glucose transport activity. But this also is the result of maturational development, since chicken bone marrow red cells do transport glucose which diminishes upon cell maturation in vitro. The erythroblast chicken cell line, HD3, has high glucose transport activity which is lost upon induction to the red cell phenotype. Growing HD3 cells have much higher levels of transport than native chicken bone marrow cells and this is associated in part with elevation of glucose transporter (GLUT) mRNAs as a consequence of the expression of the v-erbA and v-erbB oncogenes. Both native bone marrow red cells and HD3 cells, when incubated in vitro under conditions where maturation occurs, show substantial losses of GLUT mRNA and GLUT proteins. To assess whether the inducers of maturation (hemin and butyrate) affect only the normally expressed GLUTs, chicken GLUT3 expressed from a different promoter was introduced into the HD3 cell by retroviral infection. Both the endogenous and exogenous transporters were lost upon cell differentiation and maturation, leaving a cell with low glucose transport activity. Conversely, in growing cells, butyrate had a pronounced effect on the elevation of the GLUT3 mRNA, especially on the exogenous GLUT3 mRNA, and elevated glucose transport prior to differentiation. These results are consistent with the conclusion that chicken red cell development involves a requirement to reduce glucose transport activity. The near absence of glucose transport in the embryonic chicken red cell is thus due to a loss of this transporter during early development which occurs at an earlier developmental stage in the chicken red cell than in the mammalian red cell.[1]


  1. Loss of glucose transport in developing avian red cells. Johnstone, R.M., Mathew, A., Setchenska, M.S., Grdisa, M., White, M.K. Eur. J. Cell Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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