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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011 Jan;300(1):C14-21. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00388.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Glucose transport by human renal Na+/D-glucose cotransporters SGLT1 and SGLT2.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1751, USA.

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  • Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011 Mar;300(3):C721.


The human Na(+)/D-glucose cotransporter 2 (hSGLT2) is believed to be responsible for the bulk of glucose reabsorption in the kidney proximal convoluted tubule. Since blocking reabsorption increases urinary glucose excretion, hSGLT2 has become a novel drug target for Type 2 diabetes treatment. Glucose transport by hSGLT2 was studied at 37°C in human embryonic kidney 293T cells using whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology. We compared hSGLT2 with hSGLT1, the transporter in the straight proximal tubule (S3 segment). hSGLT2 transports with surprisingly similar glucose affinity and lower concentrative power than hSGLT1: Na(+)/D-glucose cotransport by hSGLT2 was electrogenic with apparent glucose and Na(+) affinities of 5 and 25 mM, and a Na(+):glucose coupling ratio of 1; hSGLT1 affinities were 2 and 70 mM and coupling ratio of 2. Both proteins showed voltage-dependent steady-state transport; however, unlike hSGLT1, hSGLT2 did not exhibit detectable pre-steady-state currents in response to rapid jumps in membrane voltage. D-Galactose was transported by both proteins, but with very low affinity by hSGLT2 (≥100 vs. 6 mM). β-D-Glucopyranosides were either substrates or blockers. Phlorizin exhibited higher affinity with hSGLT2 (K(i) 11 vs. 140 nM) and a lower Off-rate (0.03 vs. 0.2 s⁻¹) compared with hSGLT1. These studies indicate that, in the early proximal tubule, hSGLT2 works at 50% capacity and becomes saturated only when glucose is ≥35 mM. Furthermore, results on hSGLT1 suggest it may play a significant role in the reabsorption of filtered glucose in the late proximal tubule. Our electrophysiological study provides groundwork for a molecular understanding of how hSGLT inhibitors affect renal glucose reabsorption.

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