Oncology reports

Fructose transporter GLUT5 expression in clear renal cell carcinoma.

PMID 21165569


Renal cell carcinomas (RCC) can be subclassified for general purposes into clear cell, papillary cell, chromophobe cell carcinomas and oncocytomas. Other tumours such as collecting duct, medullary, mucinous tubular and spindle cell and associated with Xp 11.2 translocations/TFE 3 gene fusion, are much less common. There is also a residual group of unclassified cases. Previous studies have shown that RCC has high glycolytic rates, and expresses GLUT transporters, but no distinction has been made among the different subtypes of renal cell tumours and their grades of malignancy. In clear renal cell carcinoma (cRCC) glycogen levels increase, glycolysis is activated and gluconeogenesis is reduced. The clear cell subtype of RCC is characterized histologically by a distinctive pale, glassy cytoplasm and this appearance of cRCC is due to abnormalities in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and this abnormality results in glycogen and sterol storage. Several isoforms of glucose carriers (GLUTs) have been identified. We show here in a panel of 80 cRCC samples a significant correlation between isoform 5 (GLUT5) and many pathological parameters such as grade of differentiation, pelvis invasion and breaking capsule. GLUT5 expression also appears to associate more strongly with the clear cell RCC subtype. These data suggest a role for the GLUT5 isoform in fructose uptake that takes place in cRCC cells and which subsequently leads to the malignant RCC progression.