Mutations in a new gene encoding a thiamine transporter cause thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anaemia syndrome

Nat Genet. 1999 Jul;22(3):309-12. doi: 10.1038/10385.


Thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anaemia syndrome (TRMA; MIM 249270) is an autosomal recessive disorder with features that include megaloblastic anaemia, mild thrombocytopenia and leucopenia, sensorineural deafness and diabetes mellitus. Treatment with pharmacologic doses of thiamine ameliorates the megaloblastic anaemia and diabetes mellitus. A defect in the plasma membrane transport of thiamine has been demonstrated in erythrocytes and cultured skin fibroblasts from TRMA patients. The gene causing TRMA was assigned to 1q23.2-q23.3 by linkage analysis. Here we report the cloning of a new gene, SLC19A2, identified from high-through-put genomic sequences due to homology with SLC19A1, encoding reduced folate carrier 1 (refs 8-10). We cloned the entire coding region by screening a human fetal brain cDNA library. SLC19A2 encodes a protein (of 497 aa) predicted to have 12 transmembrane domains. We identified 2 frameshift mutations in exon 2. a 1-bp insertion and a 2-bp deletion, among four Iranian families with TRMA. The sequence homology and predicted structure of SLC19A2, as well as its role in TRMA, suggest that its gene product is a thiamine carrier, the first to be identified in complex eukaryotes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / complications
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / drug therapy
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Deafness / complications
  • Deafness / genetics
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Syndrome
  • Thiamine / metabolism*
  • Thiamine / therapeutic use*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SLC19A2 protein, human
  • Thiamine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF153330