Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Sodium/Glucose Co-transporters, Structure and Function

  • Louis J. Sasseville
  • Jean-Yves Lapointe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_245



Na+/glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) are responsible for the “secondary-active” transport of glucose and other substrates across cellular membranes. They concentrate glucose inside the cell using electrochemical energy from the transmembrane Na+ gradient, employing an alternating access cotransport mechanism. Their most important roles are to mediate the absorption of glucose in the intestine and its reabsorption in the proximal tubules of the kidney.


The general mechanism for active glucose cotransport through epithelial cells was first proposed by Robert Crane in the early 1960s. It described the secondary-active pumping of glucose across the brush border membrane of the intestinal epithelium using the Na+ gradient generated by the basolateral Na+/K+-...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Groupe d'étude des protéines membranaires (GÉPROM) and Département de PhysiqueUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada