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J Biol Chem. 2013 Oct 25;288(43):31080-92. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.469189. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Mutations in SLC2A2 gene reveal hGLUT2 function in pancreatic β cell development.

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From the INSERM UMRS872, Cordeliers Research Center, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 75006 Paris, France.


The structure-function relationships of sugar transporter-receptor hGLUT2 coded by SLC2A2 and their impact on insulin secretion and β cell differentiation were investigated through the detailed characterization of a panel of mutations along the protein. We studied naturally occurring SLC2A2 variants or mutants: two single-nucleotide polymorphisms and four proposed inactivating mutations associated to Fanconi-Bickel syndrome. We also engineered mutations based on sequence alignment and conserved amino acids in selected domains. The single-nucleotide polymorphisms P68L and T110I did not impact on sugar transport as assayed in Xenopus oocytes. All the Fanconi-Bickel syndrome-associated mutations invalidated glucose transport by hGLUT2 either through absence of protein at the plasma membrane (G20D and S242R) or through loss of transport capacity despite membrane targeting (P417L and W444R), pointing out crucial amino acids for hGLUT2 transport function. In contrast, engineered mutants were located at the plasma membrane and able to transport sugar, albeit with modified kinetic parameters. Notably, these mutations resulted in gain of function. G20S and L368P mutations increased insulin secretion in the absence of glucose. In addition, these mutants increased insulin-positive cell differentiation when expressed in cultured rat embryonic pancreas. F295Y mutation induced β cell differentiation even in the absence of glucose, suggesting that mutated GLUT2, as a sugar receptor, triggers a signaling pathway independently of glucose transport and metabolism. Our results describe the first gain of function mutations for hGLUT2, revealing the importance of its receptor versus transporter function in pancreatic β cell development and insulin secretion.


Carbohydrate Metabolism; Fanconi-Bickel Syndrome; GLUT2; Glucose Transport; Insulin Secretion; Mutant; Pancreatic Islets; Xenopus

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