Oncology Central

Sweetness in the enigmatic life of cancer cells


Sweetness comes from sugar. Sugar is a generic term and means simple carbohydrates (monosaccharides) such as fructose, glucose and galactose; and disaccharides such as maltose and sucrose, the latter commonly known as table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar or just sugar.

When sugar (sucrose) is consumed, the enzyme β-fructosidase cleaves sucrose into its individual moieties of glucose and fructose. They all taste sweet to the tongue; fructose two-times more than glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy in eukaryotic cells. For both, fructose and glucose, there are two transporter systems: the sodium dependent glucose co-transporters (SGLTs) and the facilitative sugar transporters (GLUTs). GLUT5 and GLUT2 are the major fructose transporter systems in the body.

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