Dependence of glucose transport on autophagy and GAPDH activity

Rolf J. Craven, Hilaree N. Frazier, Olivier Thibault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Glucose uptake in the brain is critically important to brain health. Using two widely used cell line model systems, we have found that siramesine, a lysosomotropic agent and ligand for the sigma-2 receptor, inhibits glucose uptake and decreases pools of the GLUT1 glucose transporter at the plasma membrane. Siramesine induces autophagy but also disrupts degradation of autophagy substrates, providing a potential mechanism for its action on glucose uptake. In other cell systems, many of the effects of siramesine can be suppressed by α -tocopherol, a type of vitamin E and potent antioxidant, and α-tocopherol also suppressed the effect of siramesine on glucose uptake, suggesting a role for reactive oxygen species and membrane maintenance. We have also identified a novel mechanism for siramesine in which it inhibited plasma membrane levels of GAPDH, a key protein in glycolysis which localizes to the plasma membrane in some cell types. Indeed, GAPDH inhibitors decreased glucose uptake, like siramesine, likely through an overlapping pathway with siramesine. GAPDH inhibitors induced autophagy but inhibited degradation of autophagy targets. Thus, we have identified novel mechanisms required for glucose uptake which may have important implications in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147747
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Autophagy
  • Glucose transporter
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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