Glucose Transporter Asymmetries in the Bovine Blood-Brain Barrier

Ian A. Simpson, Susan J. Vannucci, Mary R. DeJoseph, Richard A. Hawkins

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The transport of glucose across the mammalian blood-brain barrier is mediated by the GLUT1 glucose transporter, which is concentrated in the endothelial cells of the cerebral microvessels. Several studies supported an asymmetric distribution of GLUT1 protein between the luminal and abluminal membranes (1:4) with a significant proportion of intracellular transporters. In this study we investigated the activity and concentration of GLUT1 in isolated luminal and abluminal membrane fractions of bovine brain endothelial cells. Glucose transport activity and glucose transporter concentration, as determined by cytochalasin B binding, were 2-fold greater in the luminal than in the abluminal membranes. In contrast, Western blot analysis using a rabbit polyclonal antibody raised against the C-terminal 20 amino acids of GLUT1 indicated a 1:5 luminal:abluminal distribution. Western blot analysis with antibodies raised against either the intracellular loop of GLUT1 or the purified erythrocyte protein exhibited luminal:abluminal ratios of 1:1. A similar ratio was observed when the luminal and abluminal fractions were exposed to the 2-N-4[ 3H](1-azi-2,2,2,-trifluoroethyl)benzoxyl-1,3-bis-(d-mannos-4-yloxyl) -2-propylamine ([3H]ATB-BMPA) photoaffinity label. These observations suggest that either an additional glucose transporter isoform is present in the luminal membrane of the bovine blood-brain barrier or the C-terminal epitope of GLUT1 is "masked" in the luminal membrane but not in the abluminal membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12725-12729
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 20 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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