British Journal of Nutrition

Horizons in Nutritional Science

Glucose transporters (GLUT and SGLT): expanded families of sugar transport proteins

I. Stuart Wooda1 c1 and Paul Trayhurna1

a1 Liverpool Centre for Nutritional Genomics, Neuroendocrine & Obesity Biology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Liverpool, University Clinical Departments, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK


The number of known glucose transporters has expanded considerably over the past 2 years. At least three, and up to six, Na+-dependent glucose transporters (SGLT1–SGLT6; gene name SLC5A) have been identified. Similarly, thirteen members of the family of facilitative sugar transporters (GLUT1–GLUT12 and HMIT; gene name SLC2A) are now recognised. These various transporters exhibit different substrate specificities, kinetic properties and tissue expression profiles. The number of distinct gene products, together with the presence of several different transporters in certain tissues and cells (for example, GLUT1, GLUT4, GLUT5, GLUT8, GLUT12 and HMIT in white adipose tissue), indicates that glucose delivery into cells is a process of considerable complexity.


c1 * Corresponding author: Dr I. S. Wood, fax +44 151 706 5802, email