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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1985 Apr 26;815(1):75-84.

Asymmetric transport of a fluorescent glucose analogue by human erythrocytes.


A fluorescent glucose analogue, 6-deoxy-N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)-aminoglucose (NBDG), was synthesized and its interactions with the hexose transport system of the human red blood cell were investigated. NBDG entry is inhibited by increasing concentrations of D-glucose (Ki = 2 mM). However, NBDG exit is unaffected by D-glucose in red blood cells. Cytochalasin B was found to inhibit both NBDG entry and exit. NBDG accumulates in the red blood cell above the theoretical equilibrium concentration. Accumulation of NBDG is temperature-sensitive and is due to the binding of NBDG to some intracellular substance. The binding of NBDG to purified hemoglobin suggests that accumulation of NBDG by erythrocytes is due to the intracellular binding of NBDG to hemoglobin. NBDG does not accumulate in pink erythrocyte ghosts, while its rate of uptake is still inhibited by D-glucose and cytochalasin B. Although there was no apparent D-glucose inhibition of NBDG exit by intact red blood cells, D-glucose was able to inhibit NBDG exit by pink erythrocyte ghosts. The differing properties of NBDG influx and efflux support the interpretation that the hexose transport system of the human red blood cell appears asymmetric although it may be intrinsically symmetric.

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