GLUT3/SLC2A3 Is an Endogenous Marker of Hypoxia in Prostate Cancer Cell Lines and Patient-Derived Xenograft Tumors

John M. Ryniawec, Matthew R. Coope, Emily Loertscher, Vignesh Bageerathan, Diogo de Oliveira Pessoa, Noel A. Warfel, Anne E. Cress, Megha Padi, Gregory C. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The microenvironment of solid tumors is dynamic and frequently contains pockets of low oxygen levels (hypoxia) surrounded by oxygenated tissue. Indeed, a compromised vasculature is a hallmark of the tumor microenvironment, creating both spatial gradients and temporal variability in oxygen availability. Notably, hypoxia associates with increased metastasis and poor survival in patients. Therefore, to aid therapeutic decisions and better understand hypoxia’s role in cancer progression, it is critical to identify endogenous biomarkers of hypoxia to spatially phenotype oncogenic lesions in human tissue, whether precancerous, benign, or malignant. Here, we characterize the glucose transporter GLUT3/SLC2A3 as a biomarker of hypoxic prostate epithelial cells and prostate tumors. Transcriptomic analyses of non-tumorigenic, immortalized prostate epithelial cells revealed a highly significant increase in GLUT3 expression under hypoxia. Additionally, GLUT3 protein increased 2.4-fold in cultured hypoxic prostate cell lines and was upregulated within hypoxic regions of xenograft tumors, including two patient-derived xenografts (PDX). Finally, GLUT3 out-performs other established hypoxia markers; GLUT3 staining in PDX specimens detects 2.6–8.3 times more tumor area compared to a mixture of GLUT1 and CA9 antibodies. Therefore, given the heterogeneous nature of tumors, we propose adding GLUT3 to immunostaining panels when trying to detect hypoxic regions in prostate samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number676
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • GLUT3
  • Glucose transporter
  • Hypoxia
  • Prostate cancer
  • SLC2A3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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