Indexed on: 27 Jan '09Published on: 27 Jan '09Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry B
We propose a key role for the glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in mediating the observed changes in the dielectric properties of human erythrocyte membranes as determined by dielectric spectroscopy. Cytochalasin B, a GLUT1 transport inhibitor, abolished the membrane capacitance changes in glucose-exposed red cells. Surprisingly, D-fructose, known to be transported primarily by GLUT5, exerted similar membrane capacitance changes at increasing D-fructose concentrations. In order to evaluate whether the glucose-mediated membrane capacitance changes originated directly from intracellularly bound adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or other components of the glycolysis process, we studied the dielectric responses of swollen erythrocytes with a decreased ATP content and of nucleotide-filled ghosts. Resealed ghosts containing physiological concentrations of ATP yielded the same glucose-dependent capacitance changes as biconcave intact red blood cells, further supporting the finding that ATP is the effector of the glucose-mediated dielectric response where the ATP concentration is also the mediating factor in swollen red blood cells. The results suggest that ATP binding to GLUT1 elicits a membrane capacitance change that increases with the applied concentration gradient of D-glucose. A simplified model of the membrane capacitance alteration with glucose uptake is proposed.