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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013 Jul 1;305(1):C90-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00387.2012. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Resolution of the direct interaction with and inhibition of the human GLUT1 hexose transporter by resveratrol from its effect on glucose accumulation.

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  • 1Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.


Resveratrol acts as a chemopreventive agent for cancer and as a potential antiobesity and antidiabetic compound, by leading to reduced body fat and improved glucose homeostasis. The exact mechanisms involved in improving hyperglycemic state are not known, but most of the glucose uptake into mammalian cells is facilitated by the GLUT hexose transporters. Resveratrol is structurally similar to isoflavones such as genistein, which inhibit the glucose uptake facilitated by the GLUT1 hexose transporter. Here we examined the direct effects of resveratrol on glucose uptake and accumulation in HL-60 and U-937 leukemic cell lines, which express mainly GLUT1, under conditions that discriminate transport from the intracellular substrate phosphorylation/accumulation. Resveratrol blocks GLUT1-mediated hexose uptake and thereby affects substrate accumulation on these cells. Consequently, we characterized the mechanism involved in inhibition of glucose uptake in human red cells. Resveratrol inhibits glucose exit in human red cells, and the displacement of previously bound cytochalasin B revealed the direct interaction of resveratrol with GLUT1. Resveratrol behaves as a competitive blocker of glucose uptake under zero-trans exit and exchange kinetic assays, but it becomes a mixed noncompetitive blocker when zero-trans entry transport was assayed, suggesting that the binding site for resveratrol lies on the endofacial face of the transporter. We propose that resveratrol interacts directly with the human GLUT1 hexose transporter by binding to an endofacial site and that this interaction inhibits the transport of hexoses across the plasma membrane. This inhibition is distinct from the effect of resveratrol on the intracellular phosphorylation/accumulation of glucose.


GLUT1 transporter; glucose transport; hexose uptake; leukemic cells; resveratrol

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