SLC2A1 (Solute carrier family 2 (facilitated glucose transporter) member 1)

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Likely Difference
Human Universality: 
Individual Universal (All Individuals Everywhere)
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Solute carrier family 2, member 1 (SLC2A1) is a major glucose transporter expressed in the mammalian brain. SLC2A1 shows HLS increased expression in the cerebral cortex as well as signs of positive selection. Given the protein’s role in sugar transport it is hypothesized it may play a role in the energy tradeoff between the brain and body required for increased brain to body ratio in humans.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Definite Appearance (Lineage Separation Event): 
Genetics Topic Attributes
Gene symbols follow the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee standard.
Type of Human-Specific Changes
Accelerated Evolution, Expression Pattern Change


  1. A potential role for glucose transporters in the evolution of human brain size., Fedrigo, Olivier, Pfefferle Adam D., Babbitt Courtney C., Haygood Ralph, Wall Christine E., and Wray Gregory A. , Brain Behav Evol, 2011, Volume 78, Issue 4, p.315-26, (2011)