Overexpression of the human erythrocyte glucose transporter occurs as a late event in human colorectal carcinogenesis and is associated with an increased incidence of lymph node metastases

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Clinical Cancer Research






Energy metabolsm of human colon cancer in vivo relies predominantly on glucose. Although studies have revealed increased expression of GIut1 mRNA in colon cancer, Glut1 protein (Glut1) expression in the large intestine and its significance are still unknown. The objective of this work was to determine whether Glut1 is present in human colorectal neoplasms and whether that presence is of biological significance. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 53 colonic adenocarcinomas, 82 adenomas, 46 hyperplastic polyps, and 38 normal colon samples were immunostained with the! anti-Glut1 antibody MYM. The localization was carried out using the avidin-biotin immunoperoxidase technique, No Glut1 immunoreactivity was present in normal colonic mucosa or in hyperplastic polyps, whereas 8 (10%) of 82 adenomas showed such immunoreactivity. The frequency of Glut1 expression in adenomas increased with villous morphology and with the size of the adenoma. Forty-four (83%) of 53 colorectal adenocarcinomas expressed Glut1, and, of these, tumors in which >50% of the cancer cells expressed Glut1 had a significantly higher incidence of metastasis to the lymph nodes (P = 0.0001). It is concluded that (a) Glut1 is expressed as a late event in the carcinogenesis process in human colorectal cancer, and (b) expression of Glut1 in a high proportion of cancer cells is associated with a high incidence of lymph node metastases.

This document is currently not available here.