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Dr Christopher Corpe

Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division
School of Medicine
King's College London
Room 3.114 Franklin-Wilkins Building
150 Stamford Street
London SE1 9NH
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 4269
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 4171



  • Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences Division, Kings College London, 2009 – present
  • Senior Scientist - Nestle research center, Switzerland 2008 - 2009
  • Visiting Scientist - National Institutes of Health, USA 2002 - 2006, 1998 - 1999
  • Research Fellow - Penn State University, USA 1999 - 2001
  • Post-Doctoral fellow – University of Chicago, USA, 1994 - 1998

Research interests

Regulation of intestinal sugar sensing by dietary carbohydrates. 

In the West we are currently facing an epidemic in metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia). The precise causes of the syndrome are not completely understood; however, complex interactions between our environment (diet, behaviour) and our genes (mutations, single nucleotide polymorphisms) are thought to be important. Understanding the nature of these interactions is necessary for the development of nutritional and pharmacologic solutions to treat metabolic syndrome. 

My research is focussed on intestinal nutrient sensing, and the role it plays in regulating gastro-intestinal function and energy balance. In particular, I am interested in establishing the molecular mechanisms by which dietary sugars are sensed in the gut, and how the sugar sensing mechanisms regulate sugar transport capacity and the release of GI peptides that influence energy balance. Research so far has shown CHOs in the gut are broken down into simple sugars, such as glucose and fructose. Simple sugars are then rapidly transported across the small intestine into blood via specialized transporter proteins, namely SGLT1, GLUT2 and GLUT5. Changes in dietary carbohydrates levels rapidly and reversibly alter intestinal sugar transport capacity via changes in SGLT1 and GLUT gene and protein expression levels. More recent studies have also suggested the sweet taste receptor, T1R2/3, is involved intestinal sugar sensing. The goal of my work is to understand how carbohydrates interact with the gut to control gut function, and to identify therapeutic targets and strategies that could be used to influence glycaemia and food intake. 

Techniques in the laboratory include: in vitro and in vivo models of gut function, gene arrays, qPCR, western blotting, and functional sugar transport assays using CaCo2 cells and the Xenopus oocyte expression system.  

Key Publications

  • Corpe CP, Tu H, Eck P, Wang J, Faulhaber-Walter R, Schnermann J, Margolis S, Padayatty S, Sun H, Wang Y, Nussbaum RL, Espey MG, Levine M (2010) Vitamin C transporter Slc23a1 links renal reabsorption, vitamin C tissue accumulation, and perinatal survival in mice. J Clin Invest. Apr 1;120(4):1069-83
  • Kwon O, Eck P, Corpe CP, Chen S, Lee J, Kruhlak M, Levine M. (2007) “Inhibition of the Intestinal Glucose Transporter GLUT2 by Flavonoids.” FASEB- Feb;21(2):366-77.
  • Chen Q, Espey MG, Krishna MC, Mitchell JB, Corpe CP, Buettner GR, Shacter E, Levine M. (2005) “Pharmacologic Ascorbic Acid Concentrations Selectively Kill Cancer Cells: Action as a Pro-Drug to Deliver Hydrogen Peroxide to Tissues.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. Sep 20; 102(38): 13604-9.
  • Corpe CP, Bovelander FJ, Munoz CM, Hoekstra JH, Simpson IA, Kwon O, Levine M, Burant CF. (2002) “Cloning and Functional Characterization of the Mouse Fructose Transporter, GLUT5.” Biochimica Biophysica Acta Jun 7; 1576 (1-2): 191-7.
  • Corpe CP, Sreenan S and Burant CF. (2001) “The Effects of Type 2 Diabetes and Troglitazone on the Expression Patterns of the Intestinal Sugar Transporters and PPAR-g in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats.” Digestion 63: 116-123.

Full Publication List

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