Advancing, promoting and sharing knowledge of health through excellence in teaching, clinical practice and research into the prevention and treatment of illness

Getting sweeter: new evidence for glucose transporters in specific cell types of the airway?

Baines, DL; Vasiljevs, S; Kalsi, KK (2023) Getting sweeter: new evidence for glucose transporters in specific cell types of the airway? Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 324 (1). C153-C166. ISSN 1522-1563
SGUL Authors: Baines, Deborah

PDF Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


New technologies such as single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) has enabled identification of the mRNA transcripts expressed by individual cells. This review provides insight from recent scRNAseq studies on the expression of glucose transporters in the epithelial cells of the airway epithelium from trachea to alveolus. The number of studies analyzed was limited, not all reported the full range of glucose transporters and there were differences between cells freshly isolated from the airways and those grown in vitro. Furthermore, glucose transporter mRNA transcripts were expressed at lower levels than other epithelial marker genes. Nevertheless, these studies highlighted that there were differences in cellular expression of glucose transporters. GLUT1 was the most abundant of the broadly expressed transporters that included GLUT8, 10, and 13. GLUT9 transcripts were more common in basal cells and GLUT12 in ionocytes/ciliated cells. In addition to alveolar cells, SGLT1 transcripts were present in secretory cells. GLUT3 mRNA transcripts were expressed in a cell cluster that expressed monocarboxylate (MCT2) transporters. Such distributions likely underlie cell-specific metabolic requirements to support proliferation, ion transport, mucous secretion, environment sensing, and airway glucose homeostasis. These studies have also highlighted the role of glucose transporters in the movement of dehydroascorbic acid/vitamin C/myoinositol/urate, which are factors important to the innate immune properties of the airways. Discrepancies remain between detection of mRNAs, protein, and function of glucose transporters in the lungs. However, collation of the data from further scRNAseq studies may provide a better consensus and understanding, supported by qPCR, immunohistochemistry, and functional experiments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY 4.0 ( Published by the American Physiological Society.
Keywords: airway, epithelium, glucose, glucose transporter, single-cell RNA sequencing, 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 0606 Physiology, 1116 Medical Physiology, Physiology
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Infection and Immunity Research Institute (INII)
Journal or Publication Title: Am J Physiol Cell Physiol
ISSN: 1522-1563
Language: eng
1 January 2023Published
6 January 2023Published Online
14 November 2022Accepted
Publisher License: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Project IDFunderFunder ID
088304/Z/09/ZWellcome Trust
MR/K012770/1Medical Research Council
PubMed ID: 36409177
Go to PubMed abstract
Publisher's version:

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item