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J Biol Chem. 1999 Nov 5;274(45):31925-9.

Cloning of the human thiamine transporter, a member of the folate transporter family.

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Department of Obstetrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.


We have isolated a cDNA from human placenta, which, when expressed heterologously in mammalian cells, mediates the transport of the water-soluble vitamin thiamine. The cDNA codes for a protein of 497 amino acids containing 12 putative transmembrane domains. Northern blot analysis indicates that this transporter is widely expressed in human tissues. When expressed in HeLa cells, the cDNA induces the transport of thiamine (K(t) = 2.5 +/- 0.6 microM) in a Na(+)-independent manner. The cDNA-mediated transport of thiamine is stimulated by an outwardly directed H(+) gradient. Substrate specificity assays indicate that the transporter is specific to thiamine. Even though thiamine is an organic cation, the cDNA-induced thiamine transport is not inhibited by other organic cations. Similarly, thiamine is not a substrate for the known members of mammalian organic cation transporter family. The thiamine transporter gene, located on human chromosome 1q24, consists of 6 exons and is most likely the gene defective in the metabolic disorder, thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia. At the level of amino acid sequence, the thiamine transporter is most closely related to the reduced-folate transporter and thus represents the second member of the folate transporter family.

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