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Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) is a facilitative glucose transporter overexpressed in various types of tumors; thus, it has been considered as an important target for cancer therapy. GLUT1 works through conformational switching from an outward-open (OOP) to an inward-open (IOP) conformation passing through an occluded conformation. It is critical to determine which conformation is preferred by bound ligands because the success of structure-based drug design depends on the appropriate starting conformation of the target protein. To find out the most favorable GLUT 1 conformation for ligand binding, we ran systemic molecular docking studies for different conformations of GLUT1 using known GLUT1 inhibitors. Our data revealed that the IOP is the preferred conformation and that residues Phe291, Phe379, Glu380, Trp388, and Trp412 may play critical roles in ligand binding to GLUT1. Our data suggests that conformational differences in these five amino acids in the different conformers of GLUT1 may be used to design ligands that inhibit GLUT1.


© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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