Assessing Human Genetic Variations in Glucose Transporter SLC2A10 and Their Role in Altering Structural and Functional Properties

Michael T. Zimmermann, Raul Urrutia, Margot A. Cousin, Gavin R. Oliver, Eric W. Klee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Demand is increasing for clinical genomic sequencing to provide diagnoses for patients presenting phenotypes indicative of genetic diseases, but for whom routine genetic testing failed to yield a diagnosis. DNA-based testing using high-throughput technologies often identifies variants with insufficient evidence to determine whether they are disease-causal or benign, leading to categorization as variants of uncertain significance (VUS). Methods: We used molecular modeling and simulation to generate specific hypotheses for the molecular effects of variants in the human glucose transporter, GLUT10 (SLC2A10). Similar to many disease-relevant membrane proteins, no experimentally derived 3D structure exists. An atomic model was generated and used to evaluate multiple variants, including pathogenic, benign, and VUS. Results: These analyses yielded detailed mechanistic data, not currently predictable from sequence, including altered protein stability, charge distribution of ligand binding surfaces, and shifts toward or away from transport-competent conformations. Consideration of the two major conformations of GLUT10 was important as variants have conformation-specific effects. We generated detailed molecular hypotheses for the functional impact of variants in GLUT10 and propose means to determine their pathogenicity. Conclusion: The type of workflow we present here is valuable for increasing the throughput and resolution with which VUS effects can be assessed and interpreted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number276
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
StatePublished - Jul 25 2018


  • ATS
  • genetics
  • molecular modeling
  • natural variation
  • variant of uncertain significance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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