A series of metabolic changes within the immature rat uterus begins minutes after the administration of microgram quantities of estradiol (E2). One of the earliest effects that has been measured is an increase in the rate at which the uterus takes up glucose. To characterize the effect of E2 on glucose transport stimulation, whole protein preparations were examined for the presence of mammalian glucose transport proteins Glut1 through Glut5. E2-stimulated changes in the steady state levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein were measured for Glut1 and Glut4 by quantitative competitive RT-PCR and Western blots. Both Glut1 mRNA and protein increased approximately 3- to 4-fold within 4-8 h. This increase in Glut1 mRNA and protein agrees with the maximal stimulation of the glucose transport rate that was observed. No translocation of either Glut1 or Glut4 was observed 2 h after E2 injection, indicating that translocation is not the mechanism responsible for the initial E2-stimulated increase in glucose transport observed in immature rat uterus. These data support the conclusion that the prolonged increase in glucose transport rate is due to either the transcriptional activation of Glut1 and/or the increased Glut1 mRNA half-life.
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