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Biochemistry. 2011 Oct 18;50(41):8834-45. doi: 10.1021/bi200748b. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Hexose transporter GLUT1 harbors several distinct regulatory binding sites for flavones and tyrphostins.

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Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Isla Teja s/n, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile.


The facilitative hexose transporter GLUT1 activity is blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitors that include natural products such as flavones and isoflavones and synthetic compounds such as tyrphostins, molecules that are structurally unrelated to the transported substrates [Vera, et al. (2001) Biochemistry, 40, 777-790]. Here we analyzed the interaction of GLUT1 with quercetin (a flavone), genistein (an isoflavone), and tyrphostin A47 and B46 to evaluate if they share one common or have several binding sites on the protein. Kinetic assays showed that genistein, quercetin, and tyrphostin B46 behave as competitive inhibitors of equilibrium exchange and zero-trans uptake transport and noncompetitive inhibitors of net sugar exit out of human red cells, suggesting that they interact with the external surface of the GLUT1 molecule. In contrast, tyrphostin A47 was a competitive inhibitor of equilibrium exchange and zero-trans exit transport and a noncompetitive inhibitor of net sugar entry into red cells, suggesting that it interacts with the cytoplasmic surface of the transporter. Genistein protected GLUT1 against iodide-elicited fluorescence quenching and also decreased the affinity of d-glucose for its external binding site, while quercetin and tyrphostins B46 and A47 promoted fluorescence quenching and did not affect the external d-glucose binding site. These findings are explained by a carrier that presents at least three binding sites for tyrosine kinase inhibitors, in which (i) genistein interacts with the transporter in a conformation that binds glucose on the external surface (outward-facing conformation), in a site which overlaps with the external binding site for d-glucose, (ii) quercetin and tyrphostin B46 interact with the GLUT1 conformation which binds glucose by the internal side of the membrane (inward-facing conformation), but to a site accessible from the external surface of the protein, and (iii) the binding site for tyrphostin A47 is accessible from the inner surface of GLUT1 by binding to the inward-facing conformation of the transporter. These data provide groundwork for a molecular understanding of how the tyrosine kinase inhibitors directly affect glucose transport in animal cells.

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