Estrogen replacement therapy and other unopposed estrogen treatments increase the incidence of endometrial abnormalities, including cancer. However, this effect is counteracted by the co-administration of progesterone. In the endometrium, glucose transporter (GLUT) expression and glucose transport are known to fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. Here, we determined the effect of estrogen and progesterone on the expression of GLUT1-4 and on the transport of deoxyglucose in Ishikawa endometrial cancer cells. Cells were incubated with estrogen, progesterone or combined estrogen and progesterone for 24 h and the effect on the expression of GLUT1-4 and on deoxyglucose transport was determined. We show that GLUT1 expression is upregulated by estrogen and progesterone individually, but that combined estrogen and progesterone treatment reverses this increase. Hormonal treatments do not affect GLUT2, GLUT3 or GLUT4 expression. Transport studies demonstrate that estrogen increases deoxyglucose transport at Michaelis-Menten constants (Kms) corresponding to GLUT1/4, an effect which disappears when progesterone is added concomitantly. These data demonstrate that different hormonal treatments differentially regulate GLUT expression and glucose transport in this endometrial cancer cell line. This regulation mirrors the role played by estrogen and progesterone on the incidence of cancer in this tissue and suggests that GLUT1 may be utilized by endometrial cancer cells to fuel their demand for increased energy requirement.
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