Can the body make more glucose transporters?

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iangoodwin88's profile pic

iangoodwin88 | In Training Educator

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Yes, the body can make more glucose transporters if needed. The beauty of the individual cells in our body is that they can adapt to both immediate and long term changes that we directly influence.

In the case of whether the body can make more glucose transporters, the answer is simply yes. However, it is not the body itself making more glucose transporters, rather, it is the cells responding to their immediate environment. 

To provide some background, 13 GLUT transporters have been identified in the human body. These 13 transporters have been broken down into four classes. The only class that we will discuss here is Class I which contains the most well-studied GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT3, and GLUT4 transporters. GLUT is a glucose transport molecule.

To specifically answer your question, it has been shown that GLUT2 (present largely on the surface of hepatocytes or liver cells) can be unregulated by the presence of glucose. What this means is that when the liver becomes saturated with glucose, GLUT2 on hepatocytes will bring sugar into the cell. The plethora of sugar will trigger a cascade of events which lead to a release of a specific protein that alters the regulation of genes encoding GLUT2. To be a little bit more direct, an increase in sugar leads to an alteration in gene expression which leads to more GLUT2 being produced by the specific cell.

In conclusion, the body can make more glucose transporters but it requires a stimulus. Without the stimulus, glucose transporters will remain the same.  

Sources:
sciencesolve's profile pic

sciencesolve | Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The catabolization process is meant to free energy stored in food in order to activate anabolic synthesis and to build and restore cellular components.

Glucose represents the primary source of energy used for maintaining and supporting the brain and physical activities. The synthesis of glycolipids, glycoproteins and lactose is realized by means of glucose.

Glucose can be synthesized from food and it can also be the product of metabolism. Glucose represents about 80% of consumed dietary sugars, and the remaining 20% are represented by galactose and fructose.

Glucose cannot simply diffuse through the plasma membrane. It must be helped by glucose transport molecules (GLUT). These glucose transporters are enclosed in vesicles and become part of the cell membrane to allow glucose in. The amount of GLUT on the membrane influences the amount of glucose diffused into cells. The basal glucose uptake depends on GLUT1.

Other glucose transport molecules, such as GLUT 4, can be translocated from intracellular storage into plasma membrane, as a response to insulin. GLUT 2 molecules portals can be reduced by intestine cells, enterocytes.

Hence, as a conclusion, there exists several forms of glucose transport molecules, such as GLUT 1 or GLUT 4, that help to maintain glucose homeostasis.

imcgurn's profile pic

imcgurn | High School Teacher | In Training Educator

Posted on

Yes, the body can produce more glucose transporters.

Like just about anything in the body, particularly pieces of cellular mechanism, the body needs to make more. Glucose transporters are complex mechanical proteins, the code for which can be found in your genome. Like any protein, through transcription and translation, more can be made. An example of a circumstance when this protein would need to be produced is in the process of cellular division (mitosis); more cells mean more glucose transporters. If you still have questions about what glucose transporters are or their function please see the previous post.

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