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Nat Genet. 2008 Apr;40(4):437-42. doi: 10.1038/ng.106. Epub 2008 Mar 9.

SLC2A9 is a newly identified urate transporter influencing serum urate concentration, urate excretion and gout.

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  • 1MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK.


Uric acid is the end product of purine metabolism in humans and great apes, which have lost hepatic uricase activity, leading to uniquely high serum uric acid concentrations (200-500 microM) compared with other mammals (3-120 microM). About 70% of daily urate disposal occurs via the kidneys, and in 5-25% of the human population, impaired renal excretion leads to hyperuricemia. About 10% of people with hyperuricemia develop gout, an inflammatory arthritis that results from deposition of monosodium urate crystals in the joint. We have identified genetic variants within a transporter gene, SLC2A9, that explain 1.7-5.3% of the variance in serum uric acid concentrations, following a genome-wide association scan in a Croatian population sample. SLC2A9 variants were also associated with low fractional excretion of uric acid and/or gout in UK, Croatian and German population samples. SLC2A9 is a known fructose transporter, and we now show that it has strong uric acid transport activity in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

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