Biophysical Reviews

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 5–9 | Cite as

Glucose transporters: physiological and pathological roles

  • Archana M. NavaleEmail author
  • Archana N. Paranjape


Glucose is a primary energy source for most cells and an important substrate for many biochemical reactions. As glucose is a need of each and every cell of the body, so are the glucose transporters. Consequently, all cells express these important proteins on their surface. In recent years developments in genetics have shed new light on the types and physiology of various glucose transporters, of which there are two main types—sodium–glucose linked transporters (SGLTs) and facilitated diffusion glucose transporters (GLUT)—which can be divided into many more subclasses. Transporters differ in terms of their substrate specificity, distribution and regulatory mechanisms. Glucose transporters have also received much attention as therapeutic targets for various diseases. In this review, we attempt to present a simplified view of this complex topic which may be of interest to researchers involved in biochemical and pharmacological research.


SGLT GLUT Glucose transporters Anti-diabetic agents Anti-cancer agents 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

Archana M. Navale declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Archana N. Paranjape declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of PharmacyParul UniversityWaghodia Taluka, Vadodara DistrictIndia
  2. 2.Edutech Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd.VadodaraIndia

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