Breast cancer brain metastasis commonly occurs in one-fourth of breast cancer patients and is associated with poor prognosis. Abnormal glucose metabolism is found to promote cancer metastasis. Moreover, the tumor microenvironment is crucial and plays an active role in the metabolic adaptations and survival of cancer cells. Glucose transporters are overexpressed in cancer cells to increase glucose uptake. The glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) is a high-affinity glucose transporter that is highly expressed in mammalian neurons. GLUT3 is also overexpressed in several malignant brain tumors. However, the role of GLUT3 in breast cancer brain metastasis remains unknown. The results of the present study demonstrated that GLUT3 is highly overexpressed in brain metastatic breast cancers and mediates glucose metabolic reprogramming. Furthermore, knockdown of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) could directly regulate GLUT3 expression in brain metastatic breast cancer cells. Notably, we verified and provided a novel role of GLUT3 in mediating glucose metabolism and assisting breast cancer cells to survive in the brain to promote brain metastasis.
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