Hesperetin impairs glucose uptake and inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells

Yong Yang, Joy Wolfram, Kathryn Boom, Xiaohong Fang, Haifa Shen, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The flavanone hesperetin is known to decrease basal glucose uptake, although the inhibitory mechanism is largely unknown. Here, we used MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells to investigate the molecular pathways affected by hesperetin. The results indicate that the suppression of glucose uptake is caused by the down-regulation of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1). Hesperetin was also found to inhibit insulin-induced glucose uptake through impaired cell membrane translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). In addition, the phosphorylation of the insulin receptor-beta subunit (IR-beta) and Akt was suppressed. Hesperetin also decreased cellular proliferation, which is likely due to the inhibition of glucose uptake. Cancer cells are highly dependent on glucose and hesperetin may, therefore, have potential application as an anticancer agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-379
Number of pages6
JournalCell Biochemistry and Function
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Breast cancer cells
  • GLUT1
  • GLUT4
  • Glucose uptake
  • Hesperetin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hesperetin impairs glucose uptake and inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this