Perfusion of rat jejunum in vitro with PMA increased fructose transport by 70% compared with control values and was blocked by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor chelerythrine. The brush-border membrane contained both the fructose transporters GLUT5 and GLUT2; the presence of the latter was confirmed by luminal biotinylation. PMA increased the GLUT2 level 4-fold within minutes, so that the level was comparable with that of the basolateral membrane, but had no effect on GLUT5 level. GLUT2 was functional, accessible to luminal fructose and could be inhibited selectively by phloretin to permit determination of GLUT2- and GLUT5-mediated transport components. The 4-fold increase in GLUT2 level induced by PMA was matched by a 4-fold increase in GLUT2-mediated transport: there was a compensatory fall in the GLUT5-mediated rate. The pattern of dynamic trafficking was seen only for GLUT2, not GLUT5 or SGLT1, implying that GLUT2 trafficks to the brush-border membrane by a different pathway. Trafficking of GLUT2 to the brush-border membrane correlated with activation of PKC βII, implying that this isoenzyme is likely to control trafficking. Since PKC is activated by endogenous hormones, GLUT2 levels in vivo are 3–4-fold those in vitro; moreover, because PKC is inactivated as soon as intestine is excised, GLUT2 is lost from the brush-border within minutes in vitro. It is therefore difficult to detect GLUT2 in most in vitro preparations and its role in intestinal sugar absorption across the brush-border membrane has accordingly been overlooked.

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