Karin Lindkvist

Karin Lindkvist

Professor

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Research

Glucose is the preferred energy resource for most cells. The first and limiting step in glucose metabolism is its transport across the plasma membrane. Malignant cells are known to have accelerated metabolism, high glucose requirements, and increased glucose uptake. During the absorptive state, glucose is either transformed into fat in the adipose tissues, or used directly as energy source. However, during starvation the blood glucose level is decreased and the energy has to be supplied from the body´s own stores. Glycerol stored in the adipose tissues is then converted to glucose. This complex transmembrane flux of glucose and glycerol is performed by Glucose transporters and Glycerol channels. Tumor-committed cells generally have an aggressive energy metabolic profile connected to an up regulation of both glucose transporters and glycerol channels. Because of this central role in metabolism, the activity of these transporters is potential targets for treating diseases. Still, what is clearly lacking is a structural basis for the understanding of glucose and glycerol transport function and a robust functional platform to screen for putative inhibitors. Our research goal is to achieve a more detailed understanding of the structure-function relationship of glucose and glycerol transporters and to develop a platform to open up the possibility to find novel drugs.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • Glucose transport
  • Glycerol channels
  • Metabolism

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