SLC19: the folate/thiamine transporter family

Pflugers Arch. 2004 Feb;447(5):641-6. doi: 10.1007/s00424-003-1068-1. Epub 2003 May 6.


The SLC19 gene family of solute carriers is a family of three transporter proteins with significant structural similarity, transporting, however, substrates with different structure and ionic charge. The three members of this gene family are expressed ubiquitously and mediate the transport of two important water-soluble vitamins, folate and thiamine. The concentrative transport of substrates mediated by the members of this gene family is energized by transcellular H(+)/OH(-) gradient. SLC19A1 is expressed at highest levels in absorptive cells where it is located in a polarized manner either in the apical or basal membrane, depending on the cell type. It mediates the transport of reduced folate and its analogs, such as methotrexate, which are anionic at physiological pH. SLC19A2 is expressed ubiquitously and mediates the transport of thiamine, a cation at physiological pH. SLC19A3 is also widely expressed and is capable of transporting thiamine. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the structural, functional, molecular and physiological aspects of the SLC19 gene family.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Folic Acid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Multigene Family / physiology
  • Thiamine / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Folic Acid
  • Thiamine