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Glucose Transporter Expression in Skeletal Muscle of Endurance-Trained Individuals


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 6 - p 1088-1092
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000222837.74015.f1
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

Two recently identified glucose transporters, GLUT8 and GLUT12, are expressed in human skeletal muscle and may be involved in insulin-mediated sugar transport.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to measure GLUT8 and GLUT12 mRNA levels in endurance-trained versus sedentary individuals in an effort to determine the effect of repeated days of contractile activity on gene expression.

Methods: GLUT 4, 8, and 12 mRNA were measured in biopsies from the vastus lateralis using quantitative real-time PCR in endurance-trained (N = 16, age = 22.0 ± 0.9 yr, V̇O2max (L·min−1) = 4.13 ± 0.25) and sedentary (N = 15, age = 21.3 ± 0.8 yr, V̇O2max (L·min−1) = 3.21 ± 0.24) subjects.

Results: GLUT12 mRNA was lower (40 ± 14%, P < 0.05) in the exercise-trained compared with the sedentary subjects. There was no difference between groups in GLUT8 mRNA content. mRNA of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter (GLUT4) was 78 ± 27% (P < 0.05) higher in skeletal muscle from endurance-trained compared with sedentary individuals.

Conclusion: These findings suggest an isoform-specific effect on the mRNA of the glucose transporters in human skeletal muscle with repeated days of contractile activity.

1Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY; and 2East Carolina University, Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Greenville, NC

Address for correspondence: Maureen J. Charron, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Ave., Bronx, NY 10461; E-mail:

Submitted for publication September 2005.

Accepted for publication January 2006.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine