Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 4953–4965 | Cite as

Endogenous SHBG levels correlate with that of glucose transporters in insulin resistance model cells

  • Chong Feng
  • Zhen JinEmail author
  • Lei Sun
  • Xiaoyan Wang
  • Xinshu Chi
  • Xuan Zhang
  • Siyu Lian
Original Article


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as glucose intolerance of any degree that occurs after onset of pregnancy. Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) plays an important regulatory role in insulin resistance and is a risk factor in GDM. In the current study, we aimed to examine whether SHBG can regulate glucose metabolism through glucose transporters (GLUTs). SHBG was transfected into established human insulin model cells and the expression of SHBG, GLUT1, GLUT3, and GLUT4 was detected and analyzed in normal cells, model cells, and all groups of transfected cells by real-time PCR and western blotting. Further, immunofluorescence staining was performed on cells from each group to observe protein expression. In insulin resistance model cells, the expression of SHBG was low, whereas that of GLUT1 was high and of GLUT3 and GLUT4 was low, when compared with expression in control cells. Moreover, the overexpression of SHBG inhibited the expression of GLUT1 mRNA and protein, and promoted the expression of GLUT3 and GLUT4. Our results indicate that SHBG could be involved in glucose metabolism through its regulation of multiple GLUTs. Transfection of SHBG into insulin-resistant cells may partially improve the level of GLUTs, providing a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of insulin resistance in GDM. Although SHBG can regulate glucose metabolism through GLUTs and thus cause insulin resistance and induce gestational diabetes, the regulation mechanism of GLUTs mediated by SHBG has not been elucidated, which will be the focus of further studies.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) Glucose transporters (GLUTs) Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) Insulin resistance GLUT4 translocation HTR8/SVneo 



Sex hormone binding globulin


Gestational diabetes mellitus


Glucose transporters


The International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Group


Type II diabetes


Apolipoprotein B


Body Mass Index


High density lipoprotein


Non-insulin-resistant diabetes in women


Extravillous trophoblasts



Author Agreement: All authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript being submitted. We all warrant that the article is the authors’ original work, hasn’t received prior publication and isn’t under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Author contributions

CF executed the study and drafted the manuscript, ZJ designed the study, LS analysed the experimental data, XW and XC made the critical discussion, XZ and SL revised it critically for important intellectual content.


This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81300511 and 81170591).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There’s no financial/personal interest or belief that could affect our objectivity.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyShengjing Hospital Affiliated to China Medical UniversityShenyangChina

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