The GLUT members belong to a family of glucose transporter proteins that facilitate glucose transport across the cell membrane. The mammalian GLUT family consists of thirteen members (GLUTs 1-12 and HMIT). Humans have a recently duplicated GLUT member, GLUT14. Avians express the majority of GLUT members. The arrangement of multiple GLUTs across all somatic tissues signifies the important role of glucose across all organisms. Defects in glucose transport have been linked to metabolic disorders, insulin resistance and diabetes. Despite the essential importance of these transporters, our knowledge regarding GLUT members in avians is fragmented. It has been clear that there are no chicken orthologs of mammalian GLUT4 and GLUT7. Our examination of GLUT members in the chicken revealed that some chicken GLUT members do not have corresponding orthologs in mammals. We review the information regarding GLUT orthologs and their function and expression in mammals and birds, with emphasis on chickens and humans.
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