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Anthony Carruthers PhD

TitleProfessor Emeritus
InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology
AddressUMass Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North S1-824
Worcester MA 01655
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentMicrobiology and Physiological Systems

    InstitutionUMass Chan Programs, Centers and Institutes
    DepartmentBioinformatics and Integrative Biology

    InstitutionUMass Chan Programs, Centers and Institutes
    DepartmentDiabetes and Endocrinology Research Center

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    University of Manchester, Manchester, , United KingdomBSCPhysiology
    University of London, London, , United KingdomPHDCellular Physiology

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    Academic Background

    Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

    Tony Carruthers received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Manchester (U.K.) in 1977 and his Ph.D.in cellular physiology from King's College, London, in 1980. In 1982 he received a Wellcome Trust Travel Award and a NATO Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship to perform postdoctoral work at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

    Following his postdoctoral work, he remained at UMass Medical School as a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.

    Carrier-mediated transport

    Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding protein-mediated transport of nutrients and other small molecules across cell membranes.

    The Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) of transport proteins comprises more than 1,000 unique proteins that mediate passive and secondary active transmembrane transport of nutrients, drugs, ions, neurotransmitters, and other molecules in all organisms. The facilitative glucose transporter family (GLUT or SLC2A) mediates the uniport of monosaccharides and other small molecules in vertebrates. GLUT proteins are expressed in an organ-system specific manner allowing them to meet the metabolic needs of the organism. For example, GLUT2 is found in the liver and glucose sensing cells of the CNS, GLUT3 is expressed in neuronal cells, and insulin-sensitive GLUT4 is found in muscle and adipose tissue. GLUT1 is found in many tissues throughout the body but is expressed most highly in CNS astrocytes, in β-cells of the human pancreas, in the circulatory system and at blood-tissue barriers such as the blood-brain barrier where it mediates glucose transfer from blood to brain. The focus of our laboratory is to understand the molecular basis of GLUT function and regulation.

    Our methods include molecular biology, genetics, protein chemistry, mass spectrometry, biochemistry, biophysics and cellular physiology. More details about the laboratory may be found at our lab web page http://glutxi.umassmed.edu/index.html



    Ultrastructure of Human Erythrocyte GLUT1

    Ultrastructure of Human Erythrocyte GLUT1

    Analysis of GLUT1 aggregation state by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. High magnification of unidirectionally shadowed freeze-fractured electron micrographs of GLUT1 proteoliposomes. Composite of nonreduced (left) and reduced (middle), purified GLUT1 Integral Membrane Particles. The bar represents 10 nm. The images represent the average of 60 particles. The rightmost image shows the dimensions of monomeric GLUT1 threaded through GlpT structure.

    Structural basis of GLUT1 regulation by ATP

    Structural basis of GLUT1 regulation by ATP

    ATP regulation of GLUT1. GLUT1 membrane spanning topography is illustrated. GLUT1 behavior is illustrated in the presence of AMP (left) or ATP (right). Trypsin cleavage sites (yellow and brown circles), sites of antibody recognition (green and red sequence), and sites where IgG binding is not detected (blue sequence) are indicated. In the presence of ATP (right), ATP-sensitive (red sequence) and insensitive (green sequence) IgG binding domains are also indicated. The circles show ATP-insensitive tryptic cleavage sites (yellow circles), ATP-protected tryptic cleavage sites (brown circles), and ATP-protected sites of lysine covalent modification by Sulfo-NHS-LC-Biotin (red circles). We propose that the GLUT1 C-terminus and the C-terminal half of the middle loop interact in response to ATP binding. This reduces their respective accessibility to polar reagents and restricts glucose release from the translocation pathway.

    Collapse Rotation Projects

    Potential Rotation Projects


    1. Mapping glucose transporter ligand binding sites.

    2. Mapping GLUT1 intramolecular contacts.

    3. How does cell shape regulate glucose transport?

    4. Using transporter chimeras to map specificity and functional domains.

    5. Development of a transwell model for blood brain barrier function.

    6. Site directed GLUT1 mutagenesis to test specific hypotheses for GLUT1 function.


    For specific details on each project, please e-mail me at:



    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Ojelabi OA, Lloyd KP, De Zutter JK, Carruthers A. Red wine and green tea flavonoids are cis-allosteric activators and competitive inhibitors of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1)-mediated sugar uptake. J Biol Chem. 2018 12 21; 293(51):19823-19834. PMID: 30361436.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    2. Asaro RJ, Zhu Q, Cabrales P, Carruthers A. Do Skeletal Dynamics Mediate Sugar Uptake and Transport in Human Erythrocytes? Biophys J. 2018 03 27; 114(6):1440-1454. PMID: 29590601.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    3. Lloyd KP, Ojelabi OA, Simon AH, De Zutter JK, Carruthers A. Kinetic Basis of Cis- and Trans-Allostery in GLUT1-Mediated Sugar Transport. J Membr Biol. 2018 02; 251(1):131-152. PMID: 29209831.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    4. Lloyd KP, Ojelabi OA, De Zutter JK, Carruthers A. Reconciling contradictory findings: Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) functions as an oligomer of allosteric, alternating access transporters. J Biol Chem. 2017 12 22; 292(51):21035-21046. PMID: 29066623.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    5. Ojelabi OA, Lloyd KP, Simon AH, De Zutter JK, Carruthers A. WZB117 (2-Fluoro-6-(m-hydroxybenzoyloxy) Phenyl m-Hydroxybenzoate) Inhibits GLUT1-mediated Sugar Transport by Binding Reversibly at the Exofacial Sugar Binding Site. J Biol Chem. 2016 Dec 23; 291(52):26762-26772. PMID: 27836974.
      Citations: 47     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    6. Sage JM, Cura AJ, Lloyd KP, Carruthers A. Caffeine inhibits glucose transport by binding at the GLUT1 nucleotide-binding site. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2015 May 15; 308(10):C827-34. PMID: 25715702.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    7. Simpson IA, Ponnuru P, Klinger ME, Myers RL, Devraj K, Coe CL, Lubach GR, Carruthers A, Connor JR. A novel model for brain iron uptake: introducing the concept of regulation. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015 Jan; 35(1):48-57. PMID: 25315861.
      Citations: 67     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    8. Sage JM, Carruthers A. Human erythrocytes transport dehydroascorbic acid and sugars using the same transporter complex. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2014 May 15; 306(10):C910-7. PMID: 24598365.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    9. De Zutter JK, Levine KB, Deng D, Carruthers A. Sequence determinants of GLUT1 oligomerization: analysis by homology-scanning mutagenesis. J Biol Chem. 2013 Jul 12; 288(28):20734-44. PMID: 23720776.
      Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    10. Vollers SS, Carruthers A. Sequence determinants of GLUT1-mediated accelerated-exchange transport: analysis by homology-scanning mutagenesis. J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 14; 287(51):42533-44. PMID: 23093404.
      Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    11. Cura AJ, Carruthers A. AMP kinase regulation of sugar transport in brain capillary endothelial cells during acute metabolic stress. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012 Oct 15; 303(8):C806-14. PMID: 22763120.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    12. Cura AJ, Carruthers A. Role of monosaccharide transport proteins in carbohydrate assimilation, distribution, metabolism, and homeostasis. Compr Physiol. 2012 Apr; 2(2):863-914. PMID: 22943001.
      Citations: 69     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    13. Robichaud T, Appleyard AN, Herbert RB, Henderson PJ, Carruthers A. Determinants of ligand binding affinity and cooperativity at the GLUT1 endofacial site. Biochemistry. 2011 Apr 19; 50(15):3137-48. PMID: 21384913.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    14. Mangia S, DiNuzzo M, Giove F, Carruthers A, Simpson IA, Vannucci SJ. Response to 'comment on recent modeling studies of astrocyte-neuron metabolic interactions': much ado about nothing. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011 Jun; 31(6):1346-53. PMID: 21427731.
      Citations: 48     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    15. Cura AJ, Carruthers A. Acute modulation of sugar transport in brain capillary endothelial cell cultures during activation of the metabolic stress pathway. J Biol Chem. 2010 May 14; 285(20):15430-15439. PMID: 20231288.
      Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    16. Carruthers A, DeZutter J, Ganguly A, Devaskar SU. Will the original glucose transporter isoform please stand up! Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Oct; 297(4):E836-48. PMID: 19690067.
      Citations: 93     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    17. Mangia S, Simpson IA, Vannucci SJ, Carruthers A. The in vivo neuron-to-astrocyte lactate shuttle in human brain: evidence from modeling of measured lactate levels during visual stimulation. J Neurochem. 2009 May; 109 Suppl 1:55-62. PMID: 19393009.
      Citations: 85     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    18. Carruthers A, Naftalin RJ. Altered GLUT1 substrate selectivity in human erythropoiesis? Cell. 2009 Apr 17; 137(2):200-1; author reply 201-2. PMID: 19379682.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    19. Leitch JM, Carruthers A. alpha- and beta-monosaccharide transport in human erythrocytes. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2009 Jan; 296(1):C151-61. PMID: 18987250.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    20. Blodgett DM, Graybill C, Carruthers A. Analysis of glucose transporter topology and structural dynamics. J Biol Chem. 2008 Dec 26; 283(52):36416-24. PMID: 18981181.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    21. Khera PK, Joiner CH, Carruthers A, Lindsell CJ, Smith EP, Franco RS, Holmes YR, Cohen RM. Evidence for interindividual heterogeneity in the glucose gradient across the human red blood cell membrane and its relationship to hemoglobin glycation. Diabetes. 2008 Sep; 57(9):2445-52. PMID: 18591386.
      Citations: 51     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    22. Blodgett DM, De Zutter JK, Levine KB, Karim P, Carruthers A. Structural basis of GLUT1 inhibition by cytoplasmic ATP. J Gen Physiol. 2007 Aug; 130(2):157-68. PMID: 17635959.
      Citations: 42     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    23. Simpson IA, Carruthers A, Vannucci SJ. Supply and demand in cerebral energy metabolism: the role of nutrient transporters. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2007 Nov; 27(11):1766-91. PMID: 17579656.
      Citations: 359     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    24. Leitch JM, Carruthers A. ATP-dependent sugar transport complexity in human erythrocytes. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 Feb; 292(2):C974-86. PMID: 16928769.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    25. Friedman JR, Thiele EA, Wang D, Levine KB, Cloherty EK, Pfeifer HH, De Vivo DC, Carruthers A, Natowicz MR. Atypical GLUT1 deficiency with prominent movement disorder responsive to ketogenic diet. Mov Disord. 2006 Feb; 21(2):241-5. PMID: 16149086.
      Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    26. Levine KB, Robichaud TK, Hamill S, Sultzman LA, Carruthers A. Properties of the human erythrocyte glucose transport protein are determined by cellular context. Biochemistry. 2005 Apr 19; 44(15):5606-16. PMID: 15823019.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    27. Blodgett DM, Carruthers A. Quench-flow analysis reveals multiple phases of GluT1-mediated sugar transport. Biochemistry. 2005 Feb 22; 44(7):2650-60. PMID: 15709778.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    28. Blodgett DM, Carruthers A. Conventional transport assays underestimate sugar transport rates in human red cells. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2004 May-Jun; 32(3):401-7. PMID: 15121099.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    29. Cloherty EK, Diamond DL, Heard KS, Carruthers A. Regulation of GLUT1-mediated sugar transport by an antiport/uniport switch mechanism. Biochemistry. 1996 Oct 08; 35(40):13231-9. PMID: 8855962.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    30. Zottola RJ, Cloherty EK, Coderre PE, Hansen A, Hebert DN, Carruthers A. Glucose transporter function is controlled by transporter oligomeric structure. A single, intramolecular disulfide promotes GLUT1 tetramerization. Biochemistry. 1995 Aug 01; 34(30):9734-47. PMID: 7626644.
      Citations: 46     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    31. Carruthers A. Mechanisms for the facilitated diffusion of substrates across cell membranes. Biochemistry. 1991 Apr 23; 30(16):3898-906. PMID: 2018761.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    32. Carruthers A, Helgerson AL. Inhibitions of sugar transport produced by ligands binding at opposite sides of the membrane. Evidence for simultaneous occupation of the carrier by maltose and cytochalasin B. Biochemistry. 1991 Apr 23; 30(16):3907-15. PMID: 2018762.
      Citations: 25     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    33. Carruthers A, Helgerson AL. The human erythrocyte sugar transporter is also a nucleotide binding protein. Biochemistry. 1989 Oct 17; 28(21):8337-46. PMID: 2532542.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    34. Carruthers A. ATP regulation of the human red cell sugar transporter. J Biol Chem. 1986 Aug 25; 261(24):11028-37. PMID: 3733746.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    35. Carruthers A. Anomalous asymmetric kinetics of human red cell hexose transfer: role of cytosolic adenosine 5'-triphosphate. Biochemistry. 1986 Jun 17; 25(12):3592-602. PMID: 3718945.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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