Familial distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA) and Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO) may coexist in the same patient. Both can originate in mutations of the anion-exchanger 1 gene (AE1), which codes for band 3, the bicarbonate/chloride exchanger in both the red cell membrane and the basolateral membrane of the collecting tubule alpha-intercalated cell. Dominant dRTA is usually due to a mutation of the AE1 gene, which does not alter red cell morphology. SAO is caused by an AE1 mutation that leads to a nine amino acid deletion of red cell band 3, but by itself does not cause dRTA. Recent gene studies have shown that AE1 mutations are responsible for autosomal recessive dRTA in several countries in Southeast Asia; these patients may be homozygous for the mutation or be compound heterozygotes of two different AE1 mutations, one of which is usually the SAO mutation.