The primary focus of Dr. Ernest Wright’s research is the physiology and pathophysiology of membrane transport proteins, especially the secondary active glucose transporters, the SGLT or SLC5A gene family. Although the SGLTI (SCL5Al) and SGLT2 (SLC5A2) genes are primarily expressed in the intestine and kidneys, he has found that they are also expressed throughout the body (e.g., in the brain, heart, muscle and some tumors). Currently, Wright’s team is studying the functional expression of the SLC5 genes in humans using a specific new glucose tracer and positron emission tomography (PET) and preliminary work has found that prostate tumors express functional SGLT transporters. Wright’s goal is to evaluate the use of SGLT tracers to detect stage and monitor tumors during therapy.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Voss AA, Diez-Sampedro A, Hirayama BA, Loo DD, Wright EM. Imino sugars are potent agonists of the human glucose sensor SGLT3. Mol Pharmacol. 2007; 71(2): 628-34.
Wright EM, Hirayama BA, Loo DF. Active sugar transport in health and disease. J Intern Med. 2007; 261(1): 32-43.
Wright EM, Loo DD, Hirayama BA, Turk E. Surprising versatility of Na+-glucose cotransporters: SLC5. Physiology (Bethesda). 2004; 19: 370-6.
Wright EM, Turk E. The sodium/glucose cotransport family SLC5. Pflugers Arch. 2004; 447(5): 510-8.
Diez-Sampedro A, Hirayama BA, Osswald C, Gorboulev V, Baumgarten K, Volk C, Wright EM, Koepsell H. A glucose sensor hiding in a family of transporters. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003; 100(20): 11753-8.