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1.  SLC2A9 Is a High-Capacity Urate Transporter in Humans 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(10):e197.
Serum uric acid levels in humans are influenced by diet, cellular breakdown, and renal elimination, and correlate with blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, gout, and cardiovascular disease. Recent genome-wide association scans have found common genetic variants of SLC2A9 to be associated with increased serum urate level and gout. The SLC2A9 gene encodes a facilitative glucose transporter, and it has two splice variants that are highly expressed in the proximal nephron, a key site for urate handling in the kidney. We investigated whether SLC2A9 is a functional urate transporter that contributes to the longstanding association between urate and blood pressure in man.
Methods and Findings
We expressed both SLC2A9 splice variants in Xenopus laevis oocytes and found both isoforms mediate rapid urate fluxes at concentration ranges similar to physiological serum levels (200–500 μM). Because SLC2A9 is a known facilitative glucose transporter, we also tested whether glucose or fructose influenced urate transport. We found that urate is transported by SLC2A9 at rates 45- to 60-fold faster than glucose, and demonstrated that SLC2A9-mediated urate transport is facilitated by glucose and, to a lesser extent, fructose. In addition, transport is inhibited by the uricosuric benzbromarone in a dose-dependent manner (Ki = 27 μM). Furthermore, we found urate uptake was at least 2-fold greater in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells overexpressing SLC2A9 splice variants than nontransfected kidney cells. To confirm that our findings were due to SLC2A9, and not another urate transporter, we showed that urate transport was diminished by SLC2A9-targeted siRNA in a second mammalian cell line. In a cohort of men we showed that genetic variants of SLC2A9 are associated with reduced urinary urate clearance, which fits with common variation at SLC2A9 leading to increased serum urate. We found no evidence of association with hypertension (odds ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9 to 1.05, p > 0.33) by meta-analysis of an SLC2A9 variant in six case–control studies including 11,897 participants. In a separate meta-analysis of four population studies including 11,629 participants we found no association of SLC2A9 with systolic (effect size −0.12 mm Hg, 95% CI −0.68 to 0.43, p = 0.664) or diastolic blood pressure (effect size −0.03 mm Hg, 95% CI −0.39 to 0.31, p = 0.82).
This study provides evidence that SLC2A9 splice variants act as high-capacity urate transporters and is one of the first functional characterisations of findings from genome-wide association scans. We did not find an association of the SLC2A9 gene with blood pressure in this study. Our findings suggest potential pathogenic mechanisms that could offer a new drug target for gout.
Editors' Summary
Blood is continually pumped around the human body to deliver the chemicals needed to keep the body's cells alive and to take cellular waste products to the kidneys where they are filtered out of the blood and excreted in the urine. In healthy people, the levels of nutrients and waste products in serum (the liquid part of blood) fall within “normal” ranges but in ill people these levels can be very different. For example, serum uric acid (urate) levels are usually increased in people with gout. In this arthritic condition, uric acid crystallizes in the joints (often those in the big toe) and causes swelling and intense pain. Increased serum urate levels, which are also associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, and several other important conditions, can be caused by eating food that is rich in chemicals called purines (for example, liver, dried beans, and port). The body also converts its own purines into uric acid so genetic variations in the enzymes involved in purine breakdown can alter serum urate levels, as can variations in the rate of urate removal from the body by the kidneys. Urinary urate excretion is controlled by urate transporters, proteins that carry urate into and out of the kidney cells. Uricosuric drugs, which are used to treat gout, reduce serum urate levels by inhibiting a urate transporter that reabsorbs urate from urine.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several urate transporters have already been identified but recently, using an approach called genome-wide association scanning, scientists found that some genetic variants of a human gene called SLC2A9 are more common in people with high serum urate levels than in people with normal levels. SLC2A9 encodes a glucose transporter (a protein that helps to move the sugar glucose through cell membranes) and is highly expressed in the kidney's main urate handling site. Given these facts, could SLC2A9 (the protein made from SLC2A9) be a urate transporter as well as a glucose transporter? In this study, the researchers investigate this possibility and also ask whether genetic variations in SLC2A9 might be responsible for the association between serum urate levels and high blood pressure.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers first expressed SLC2A9 in frog eggs, a type of cell that does not have its own urate transporter. They found that urate rapidly moved into eggs expressing SLC2A9 but not into control eggs, that SLC2A9 transported urate about 50 times faster than glucose, and that glucose stimulated SLC2A9-mediated urate transport. Similarly, overexpression of SLC2A9 in human embryonic kidney cells more than doubled their urate uptake. Conversely, when the researchers used a technique called RNA interference to reduce the expression of mouse SLC2A9 in mouse cells that normally makes this protein, urate transport was reduced. Next, the researchers looked at two small parts of SLC2A9 that vary between individuals (so-called single polynucleotide polymorphisms) in nearly 900 men who had had their serum urate levels and urinary urate excretion rates measured. They found that certain genetic variations at these two sites were associated with increased serum urate levels and decreased urinary urate excretion. Finally, the researchers used a statistical technique called meta-analysis to look for an association between one of the SLC2A9 gene variants and blood pressure. In two separate meta-analyses that together involved more than 20, 000 participants in several studies, there was no association between this gene variant and blood pressure.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Overall, these findings indicate that SLCA9 is a high capacity urate transporter and suggest that this protein plays an important part in controlling serum urate levels. They provide confirmation that common genetic variants in SLC2A9 affect serum urate levels to a marked degree, although they do not show exactly which genetic variant is responsible for increasing serum urate levels. They also provide important new insights into how the kidneys normally handle urate and suggest ways in which this essential process may sometimes go wrong. Thus, these findings could eventually lead to new treatments for gout and possibly for other diseases that are associated with increased serum urate levels.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The UK National Health Service Direct health encyclopedia provides detailed information for patients about gout
MedlinePlus provides links to many sources of information about gout (in English and Spanish), including “What is gout?”, an easy-to-read guide from the US National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Wikipedia also has pages on gout, uric acid, and SCL2A9 (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The Arthritis Research Campaign also has information on gout
Mark Caulfield and colleagues show that theSLC2A9 gene, which encodes a facilitative glucose transporter, is also a high-capacity urate transporter.
PMCID: PMC2561076  PMID: 18842065
2.  Association of Functional Polymorphism rs2231142 (Q141K) in the ABCG2 Gene With Serum Uric Acid and Gout in 4 US Populations 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(9):923-932.
A loss-of-function mutation (Q141K, rs2231142) in the ATP-binding cassette, subfamily G, member 2 gene (ABCG2) has been shown to be associated with serum uric acid levels and gout in Asians, Europeans, and European and African Americans; however, less is known about these associations in other populations. Rs2231142 was genotyped in 22,734 European Americans, 9,720 African Americans, 3,849 Mexican Americans, and 3,550 American Indians in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) Study (2008–2012). Rs2231142 was significantly associated with serum uric acid levels (P = 2.37 × 10−67, P = 3.98 × 10−5, P = 6.97 × 10−9, and P = 5.33 × 10−4 in European Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and American Indians, respectively) and gout (P = 2.83 × 10−10, P = 0.01, and P = 0.01 in European Americans, African Americans, and Mexican Americans, respectively). Overall, the T allele was associated with a 0.24-mg/dL increase in serum uric acid level (P = 1.37 × 10−80) and a 1.75-fold increase in the odds of gout (P = 1.09 × 10−12). The association between rs2231142 and serum uric acid was significantly stronger in men, postmenopausal women, and hormone therapy users compared with their counterparts. The association with gout was also significantly stronger in men than in women. These results highlight a possible role of sex hormones in the regulation of ABCG2 urate transporter and its potential implications for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.
PMCID: PMC4023295  PMID: 23552988
ABCG2 protein, human; genetic association studies; gout; meta-analysis; polymorphism, single nucleotide; urate transporter; uric acid
3.  Influence of the ABCG2 gout risk 141 K allele on urate metabolism during a fructose challenge 
Both genetic variation in ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2) and intake of fructose-containing beverages are major risk factors for hyperuricemia and gout. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the ABCG2 gout risk allele 141 K promotes the hyperuricaemic response to fructose loading.
Healthy volunteers (n = 74) provided serum and urine samples immediately before and 30, 60, 120 and 180 minutes after ingesting a 64 g fructose solution. Data were analyzed based on the presence or absence of the ABCG2 141 K gout risk allele.
The 141 K risk allele was present in 23 participants (31%). Overall, serum urate (SU) concentrations during the fructose load were similar in those with and without the 141 K allele (PSNP = 0.15). However, the 141 K allele was associated with a smaller increase in SU following fructose intake (PSNP <0.0001). Those with the 141 K allele also had a smaller increase in serum glucose following the fructose load (PSNP = 0.002). Higher fractional excretion of uric acid (FEUA) at baseline and throughout the fructose load was observed in those with the 141 K risk allele (PSNP <0.0001). However, the change in FEUA in response to fructose was not different in those with and without the 141 K risk allele (PSNP = 0.39). The 141 K allele effects on serum urate and glucose were more pronounced in Polynesian participants and in those with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m2.
In contrast to the predicted responses for a hyperuricemia/gout risk allele, the 141 K allele is associated with smaller increases in SU and higher FEUA following a fructose load. The results suggest that ABCG2 interacts with extra-renal metabolic pathways in a complex manner to regulate SU and gout risk.
Clinical Trials Registration
The study was registered by the Australian Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12610001036000).
PMCID: PMC3978630  PMID: 24476385
4.  Polymorphisms in the Presumptive Promoter Region of the SLC2A9 Gene Are Associated with Gout in a Chinese Male Population 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e24561.
Glucose transporter 9 (GLUT9) is a high-capacity/low-affinity urate transporter. To date, several recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and follow-up studies have identified genetic variants of SLC2A9 associated with urate concentrations and susceptibility to gout. We therefore investigated associations between gout and polymorphisms and haplotypes in the presumptive promoter region of GLUT9 in Chinese males.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The approximately 2000 bp presumptive promoter region upstream of the start site of exon 1 of GLUT9 was sequenced and subjected to genetic analysis. A genotype-phenotype correlation was performed and polymorphisms-induced changes in transcription factor binding sites were predicted. Of 21 SNPs identified in GLUT9, five had not been previously reported. Two of the SNPs (rs13124007 and rs6850166) were associated with susceptibility to gout (p = 0.009 and p = 0.042, respectively). The C allele of rs13124007 appeared to be the risk allele for predisposition to gout (p = 0.006, OR 1.709 [95% CI 1.162–2.514]). For rs6850166, an increased risk of gout was associated with the A allele (p = 0.029, OR 1.645 [95% CI 1.050–2.577]). After Bonferroni correction, there was statistically difference in rs13124007 allele frequencies between gout cases and controls (P = 0.042). Haplotype analyses showed that haplotype GG was a protective haplotype (p = 0.0053) and haplotype CA was associated with increased risk of gout (p = 0.0326). Genotype-phenotype analysis among gout patients revealed an association of rs13124007 with serum triglycerides levels (P = 0.001). The C to G substitution in polymorphism rs13124007 resulted in a loss of a binding site for transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1).
Polymorphisms rs13124007 and rs6850166 are associated with susceptibility to gout in Chinese males.
PMCID: PMC3290627  PMID: 22393348
5.  Association analysis of the SLC22A11 (organic anion transporter 4) and SLC22A12 (urate transporter 1) urate transporter locus with gout in New Zealand case-control sample sets reveals multiple ancestral-specific effects 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R220.
There is inconsistent association between urate transporters SLC22A11 (organic anion transporter 4 (OAT4)) and SLC22A12 (urate transporter 1 (URAT1)) and risk of gout. New Zealand (NZ) Māori and Pacific Island people have higher serum urate and more severe gout than European people. The aim of this study was to test genetic variation across the SLC22A11/SLC22A12 locus for association with risk of gout in NZ sample sets.
A total of 12 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants in four haplotype blocks were genotyped using TaqMan® and Sequenom MassArray in 1003 gout cases and 1156 controls. All cases had gout according to the 1977 American Rheumatism Association criteria. Association analysis of single markers and haplotypes was performed using PLINK and Stata.
A haplotype block 1 SNP (rs17299124) (upstream of SLC22A11) was associated with gout in less admixed Polynesian sample sets, but not European Caucasian (odds ratio; OR = 3.38, P = 6.1 × 10-4; OR = 0.91, P = 0.40, respectively) sample sets. A protective block 1 haplotype caused the rs17299124 association (OR = 0.28, P = 6.0 × 10-4). Within haplotype block 2 (SLC22A11) we could not replicate previous reports of association of rs2078267 with gout in European Caucasian (OR = 0.98, P = 0.82) sample sets, however this SNP was associated with gout in Polynesian (OR = 1.51, P = 0.022) sample sets. Within haplotype block 3 (including SLC22A12) analysis of haplotypes revealed a haplotype with trans-ancestral protective effects (OR = 0.80, P = 0.004), and a second haplotype conferring protection in less admixed Polynesian sample sets (OR = 0.63, P = 0.028) but risk in European Caucasian samples (OR = 1.33, P = 0.039).
Our analysis provides evidence for multiple ancestral-specific effects across the SLC22A11/SLC22A12 locus that presumably influence the activity of OAT4 and URAT1 and risk of gout. Further fine mapping of the association signal is needed using trans-ancestral re-sequence data.
PMCID: PMC3978909  PMID: 24360580
6.  Metabolic Interactions of Purine Derivatives with Human ABC Transporter ABCG2: Genetic Testing to Assess Gout Risk 
Pharmaceuticals  2013;6(11):1347-1360.
In mammals, excess purine nucleosides are removed from the body by breakdown in the liver and excretion from the kidneys. Uric acid is the end product of purine metabolism in humans. Two-thirds of uric acid in the human body is normally excreted through the kidney, whereas one-third undergoes uricolysis (decomposition of uric acid) in the gut. Elevated serum uric acid levels result in gout and could be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Recent studies have shown that human ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCG2 plays a role of renal excretion of uric acid. Two non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), i.e., 421C>A (major) and 376C>T (minor), in the ABCG2 gene result in impaired transport activity, owing to ubiquitination-mediated proteosomal degradation and truncation of ABCG2, respectively. These genetic polymorphisms are associated with hyperuricemia and gout. Allele frequencies of those SNPs are significantly higher in Asian populations than they are in African and Caucasian populations. A rapid and isothermal genotyping method has been developed to detect the SNP 421C>A, where one drop of peripheral blood is sufficient for the detection. Development of simple genotyping methods would serve to improve prevention and early therapeutic intervention for high-risk individuals in personalized healthcare.
PMCID: PMC3854015  PMID: 24287461
ABC transporter; ABCG2; gout; hyperuricemia; kidney; SNP; uric acid
7.  A common missense variant of monocarboxylate transporter 9 (MCT9/SLC16A9) gene is associated with renal overload gout, but not with all gout susceptibility 
Human Cell  2013;26(4):133-136.
Gout is a common disease caused by hyperuricemia, which shows elevated serum uric acid (SUA) levels. From a viewpoint of urate handling in humans, gout patients can be divided into those with renal overload (ROL) gout with intestinal urate underexcretion, and those with renal underexcretion (RUE) gout. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) revealed an association between SUA and a variant in human monocarboxylate transporter 9 (MCT9/SLC16A9) gene. Although the function of MCT9 remains unclear, urate is mostly excreted via intestine and kidney where MCT9 expression is observed. In this study, we investigated the relationship between a variant of MCT9 and gout in 545 patients and 1,115 healthy volunteers. A missense variant of MCT9 (K258T), rs2242206, significantly increased the risk of ROL gout (p = 0.012), with odds ratio (OR) of 1.28, although it revealed no significant association with all gout cases (p = 0.10), non-ROL gout cases (p = 0.83), and RUE gout cases (p = 0.34). In any case groups and the control group, minor allele frequencies of rs2242206 were >0.40. Therefore, rs2242206 is a common missense variant and is revealed to have an association with ROL gout, indicating that rs2242206 relates to decreased intestinal urate excretion rather than decreased renal urate excretion. Our study provides clues to better understand the pathophysiology of gout as well as the physiological roles of MCT9.
PMCID: PMC3844819  PMID: 23990105
Gouty arthritis; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Gut urate excretion; Carnitine; Solute carrier (SLC) family transporter
8.  A common variant of leucine-rich repeat-containing 16A (LRRC16A) gene is associated with gout susceptibility 
Human Cell  2013;27(1):1-4.
Gout is a common disease resulting from hyperuricemia which causes acute arthritis. Recently, genome-wide association studies revealed an association between serum uric acid levels and a common variant of leucine-rich repeat-containing 16A (LRRC16A) gene. However, it remains to be clarified whether LRRC16A contributes to the susceptibility to gout. In this study, we investigated the relationship between rs742132 in LRRC16A and gout. A total of 545 Japanese male gout cases and 1,115 male individuals as a control group were genotyped. rs742132 A/A genotype significantly increased the risk of gout, conferring an odds ratio of 1.30 (95 % CI 1.05–1.60; p = 0.015). LRRC16A encodes a protein called capping protein ARP2/3 and myosin-I linker (CARMIL), which serves as an inhibitor of the actin capping protein (CP). CP is an essential element of the actin cytoskeleton, which binds to the barbed end of the actin filament and regulates its polymerization. In the apical membrane of proximal tubular cells in the human kidney, the urate-transporting multimolecular complex (urate transportsome) is proposed to consist of several urate transporters and scaffolding proteins, which interact with the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, if there is a CARMIL dysfunction and regulatory disability in actin polymerization, urate transportsome may be unable to operate appropriately. We have shown for the first time that CARMIL/LRRC16A was associated with gout, which could be due to urate transportsome failure.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13577-013-0081-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3889988  PMID: 24318514
Gouty arthritis; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Urate transport; PDZ domain-containing 1 (PDZK1); Sodium–proton exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1)
9.  Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption: a risk factor for prevalent gout with SLC2A9 genotype-specific effects on serum urate and risk of gout 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2013;73(12):2101-2106.
Consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)-sweetened beverages increases serum urate and risk of incident gout. Genetic variants in SLC2A9, that exchanges uric acid for glucose and fructose, associate with gout. We tested association between sugar (sucrose)-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and prevalent gout. We also tested the hypothesis that SLC2A9 genotype and SSB consumption interact to determine gout risk.
Participants were 1634 New Zealand (NZ) European Caucasian, Ma¯ori and Pacific Island people and 7075 European Caucasians from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. NZ samples were genotyped for rs11942223 and ARIC for rs6449173. Effect estimates were multivariate adjusted.
SSB consumption increased gout risk. The OR for four drinks/day relative to zero was 6.89 (p=0.045), 5.19 (p=0.010) and 2.84 (p=0.043) for European Caucasian, Ma¯ori and Pacific Islanders, respectively. With each extra daily SSB serving, carriage of the gout-protective allele of SLC2A9 associated with a 15% increase in risk (p=0.078), compared with a 12% increase in non-carriers (p=0.002). The interaction term was significant in pooled (pInteraction=0.01) but not meta-analysed (pInteraction=0.99) data. In ARIC, with each extra daily serving, a greater increase in serum urate protective allele carriers (0.005 (p=8.7×10−5) compared with 0.002 (p=0.016) mmol/L) supported the gout data (pInteraction=0.062).
Association of SSB consumption with prevalent gout supports reduction of SSB in management. The interaction data suggest that SLC2A9-mediated renal uric acid excretion is physiologically influenced by intake of simple sugars derived from SSB, with SSB exposure negating the gout risk discrimination of SLC2A9.
PMCID: PMC4251167  PMID: 24026676
Gout; Epidemiology; Gene Polymorphism
10.  The renal urate transporter SLC17A1 locus: confirmation of association with gout 
Two major gout-causing genes have been identified, the urate transport genes SLC2A9 and ABCG2. Variation within the SLC17A1 locus, which encodes sodium-dependent phosphate transporter 1, a renal transporter of uric acid, has also been associated with serum urate concentration. However, evidence for association with gout is equivocal. We investigated the association of the SLC17A1 locus with gout in New Zealand sample sets.
Five variants (rs1165196, rs1183201, rs9358890, rs3799344, rs12664474) were genotyped across a New Zealand sample set totaling 971 cases and 1,742 controls. Cases were ascertained according to American Rheumatism Association criteria. Two population groups were studied: Caucasian and Polynesian.
At rs1183201 (SLC17A1), evidence for association with gout was observed in both the Caucasian (odds ratio (OR) = 0.67, P = 3.0 × 10-6) and Polynesian (OR = 0.74, P = 3.0 × 10-3) groups. Meta-analysis confirmed association of rs1183201 with gout at a genome-wide level of significance (OR = 0.70, P = 3.0 × 10-8). Haplotype analysis suggested the presence of a common protective haplotype.
We confirm the SLC17A1 locus as the third associated with gout at a genome-wide level of significance.
PMCID: PMC3446466  PMID: 22541845
11.  Genome-wide association study for serum urate concentrations and gout among African Americans identifies genomic risk loci and a novel URAT1 loss-of-function allele 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(20):4056-4068.
Serum urate concentrations are highly heritable and elevated serum urate is a key risk factor for gout. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of serum urate in African American (AA) populations are lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis of GWAS of serum urate levels and gout among 5820 AA and a large candidate gene study among 6890 AA and 21 708 participants of European ancestry (EA) within the Candidate Gene Association Resource Consortium. Findings were tested for replication among 1996 independent AA individuals, and evaluated for their association among 28 283 EA participants of the CHARGE Consortium. Functional studies were conducted using 14C-urate transport assays in mammalian Chinese hamster ovary cells. In the discovery GWAS of serum urate, three loci achieved genome-wide significance (P< 5.0 × 10−8): a novel locus near SGK1/SLC2A12 on chromosome 6 (rs9321453, P= 1.0 × 10−9), and two loci previously identified in EA participants, SLC2A9 (P= 3.8 × 10−32) and SLC22A12 (P= 2.1 × 10−10). A novel rare non-synonymous variant of large effect size in SLC22A12, rs12800450 (minor allele frequency 0.01, G65W), was identified and replicated (beta −1.19 mg/dl, P= 2.7 × 10−16). 14C-urate transport assays showed reduced urate transport for the G65W URAT1 mutant. Finally, in analyses of 11 loci previously associated with serum urate in EA individuals, 10 of 11 lead single-nucleotide polymorphisms showed direction-consistent association with urate among AA. In summary, we identified and replicated one novel locus in association with serum urate levels and experimentally characterize the novel G65W variant in URAT1 as a functional allele. Our data support the importance of multi-ethnic GWAS in the identification of novel risk loci as well as functional variants.
PMCID: PMC3177647  PMID: 21768215
12.  The Role of Abcb5 Alleles in Susceptibility to Haloperidol-Induced Toxicity in Mice and Humans 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(2):e1001782.
We know very little about the genetic factors affecting susceptibility to drug-induced central nervous system (CNS) toxicities, and this has limited our ability to optimally utilize existing drugs or to develop new drugs for CNS disorders. For example, haloperidol is a potent dopamine antagonist that is used to treat psychotic disorders, but 50% of treated patients develop characteristic extrapyramidal symptoms caused by haloperidol-induced toxicity (HIT), which limits its clinical utility. We do not have any information about the genetic factors affecting this drug-induced toxicity. HIT in humans is directly mirrored in a murine genetic model, where inbred mouse strains are differentially susceptible to HIT. Therefore, we genetically analyzed this murine model and performed a translational human genetic association study.
Methods and Findings
A whole genome SNP database and computational genetic mapping were used to analyze the murine genetic model of HIT. Guided by the mouse genetic analysis, we demonstrate that genetic variation within an ABC-drug efflux transporter (Abcb5) affected susceptibility to HIT. In situ hybridization results reveal that Abcb5 is expressed in brain capillaries, and by cerebellar Purkinje cells. We also analyzed chromosome substitution strains, imaged haloperidol abundance in brain tissue sections and directly measured haloperidol (and its metabolite) levels in brain, and characterized Abcb5 knockout mice. Our results demonstrate that Abcb5 is part of the blood-brain barrier; it affects susceptibility to HIT by altering the brain concentration of haloperidol. Moreover, a genetic association study in a haloperidol-treated human cohort indicates that human ABCB5 alleles had a time-dependent effect on susceptibility to individual and combined measures of HIT. Abcb5 alleles are pharmacogenetic factors that affect susceptibility to HIT, but it is likely that additional pharmacogenetic susceptibility factors will be discovered.
ABCB5 alleles alter susceptibility to HIT in mouse and humans. This discovery leads to a new model that (at least in part) explains inter-individual differences in susceptibility to a drug-induced CNS toxicity.
Gary Peltz and colleagues examine the role of ABCB5 alleles in haloperidol-induced toxicity in a murine genetic model and humans treated with haloperidol.
Editors' Summary
The brain is the control center of the human body. This complex organ controls thoughts, memory, speech, and movement, it is the seat of intelligence, and it regulates the function of many organs. The brain comprises many different parts, all of which work together but all of which have their own special functions. For example, the forebrain is involved in intellectual activities such as thinking whereas the hindbrain controls the body’s vital functions and movements. Messages are passed between the various regions of the brain and to other parts of the body by specialized cells called neurons, which release and receive signal molecules known as neurotransmitters. Like all the organs in the body, blood vessels supply the brain with the oxygen, water, and nutrients it needs to function. Importantly, however, the brain is protected from infectious agents and other potentially dangerous substances circulating in the blood by the “blood-brain barrier,” a highly selective permeability barrier that is formed by the cells lining the fine blood vessels (capillaries) within the brain.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although drugs have been developed to treat various brain disorders, more active and less toxic drugs are needed to improve the treatment of many if not most of these conditions. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about how the blood-brain barrier regulates the entry of drugs into the brain or about the genetic factors that affect the brain’s susceptibility to drug-induced toxicities. It is not known, for example, why about half of patients given haloperidol—a drug used to treat psychotic disorders (conditions that affect how people think, feel, or behave)—develop tremors and other symptoms caused by alterations in the brain region that controls voluntary movements. Here, to improve our understanding of how drugs enter the brain and impact its function, the researchers investigate the genetic factors that affect haloperidol-induced toxicity by genetically analyzing several inbred mouse strains (every individual in an inbred mouse strain is genetically identical) with different susceptibilities to haloperidol-induced toxicity and by undertaking a human genetic association study (a study that looks for non-chance associations between specific traits and genetic variants).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used a database of genetic variants called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a computational genetic mapping approach to show first that variations within the gene encoding Abcb5 affected susceptibility to haloperidol-induced toxicity (indicated by changes in the length of time taken by mice to move their paws when placed on an inclined wire-mesh screen) among inbred mouse strains. Abcb5 is an ATP-binding cassette transporter, a type of protein that moves molecules across cell membranes. The researchers next showed that Abcb5 is expressed in brain capillaries, which is the location of the blood-brain barrier. Abcb5 was also expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells, which help to control motor (intentional) movements. They also measured the measured the effect of haloperidol and the haloperidol concentration in brain tissue sections in mice that were genetically engineered to make no Abcb5 (Abcb5 knockout mice). Finally, the researchers investigated whether specific alleles (alternative versions) of ABCB5 are associated with haloperidol-induced toxicity in people. Among a group of 85 patients treated with haloperidol for a psychotic illness, one specific ABCB5 allele was associated with haloperidol-induced toxicity during the first few days of treatment.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that Abcb5 is a component of the blood-brain barrier in mice and suggest that genetic variants in the gene encoding this protein underlie, at least in part, the differences in susceptibility to haloperidol-induced toxicity seen among inbred mice strains. Moreover, the human genetic association study indicates that a specific ABCB5 allele also affects the susceptibility of people to haloperidol-induced toxicity. The researchers note that other ABCB5 alleles or other genetic factors that affect haloperidol-induced toxicity in people might emerge if larger groups of patients were studied. However, based on their findings, the researchers propose a new model for the genetic mechanisms that underlie inter-individual and cell type-specific differences in susceptibility to haloperidol-induced brain toxicity. If confirmed in future studies, this model might facilitate the development of more effective and less toxic drugs to treat a range of brain disorders.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about a wide range of brain diseases (in English and Spanish); its fact sheet “Brain Basics: Know Your Brain” is a simple introduction to the human brain; its “Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network” was established to develop new drugs for disorders affecting the brain and other parts of the nervous system
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about brain diseases and their treatment (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia provides information about haloperidol, about ATP-binding cassette transporters and about genetic association (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC4315575  PMID: 25647612
13.  Inhibition or Knockdown of ABC Transporters Enhances Susceptibility of Adult and Juvenile Schistosomes to Praziquantel 
Parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma cause schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of millions. Treatment of schistosomiasis depends almost entirely on the drug praziquantel (PZQ). Though essential to treating and controlling schistosomiasis, a major limitation of PZQ is that it is not active against immature mammalian-stage schistosomes. Furthermore, there are reports of field isolates with heritable reductions in PZQ susceptibility, and researchers have selected for PZQ-resistant schistosomes in the laboratory. P-glycoprotein (Pgp; ABCB1) and other ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters remove a wide variety of toxins and xenobiotics from cells, and have been implicated in multidrug resistance (MDR). Changes in ABC transporter structure or expression levels are also associated with reduced drug susceptibility in parasitic helminths, including schistosomes. Here, we show that the activity of PZQ against schistosome adults and juveniles ex vivo is potentiated by co-administration of either the highly potent Pgp inhibitor tariquidar or combinations of inhibitors targeting multiple ABC multidrug transporters. Adult worms exposed to sublethal PZQ concentrations remain active, but co-administration of ABC transporter inhibitors results in complete loss of motility and disruption of the tegument. Notably, juvenile schistosomes (3–4 weeks post infection), normally refractory to 2 µM PZQ, become paralyzed when transporter inhibitors are added in combination with the PZQ. Experiments using the fluorescent PZQ derivative (R)-PZQ-BODIPY are consistent with the transporter inhibitors increasing effective intraworm concentrations of PZQ. Adult worms in which expression of ABC transporters has been suppressed by RNA interference show increased responsiveness to PZQ and increased retention of (R)-PZQ-BODIPY consistent with an important role for these proteins in setting levels of PZQ susceptibility. These results indicate that parasite ABC multidrug transporters might serve as important targets for enhancing the action of PZQ. They also suggest a potentially novel and readily-available strategy for overcoming reduced PZQ susceptibility of schistosomes.
Author Summary
Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a tropical disease affecting hundreds of millions worldwide. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the current drug of choice against schistosomiasis, and, indeed, is the only approved antischistosomal treatment available in most parts of the world. Though effective overall, PZQ has limitations, including its lack of activity against immature schistosomes. Furthermore, reported cure rates in the field are often below optimal levels, and there is increasing evidence that schistosomes can become resistant to the drug. ABC transporters such as P-glycoprotein are efflux transporters that mediate detoxification of cells via removal of toxins and xenobiotics, including drugs. They underlie multidrug resistance in mammalian cells, and are also associated with drug resistance in parasitic worms, including schistosomes. Here, we show that compounds that inhibit these efflux transporters potentiate the activity of PZQ against schistosomes, including normally PZQ-insensitive juvenile worms. Similarly, suppressing expression of these transporters also increases adult worm responsiveness to PZQ. Our experiments may provide insights into the role of these drug transporters in PZQ action, and could also translate into new therapeutic strategies for augmenting treatment of schistosome infections and overcoming drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC4199547  PMID: 25330312
14.  A Review of Uric Acid, Crystal Deposition Disease, and Gout 
Advances in Therapy  2014;32:31-41.
There has been increased interest in gout in both academic and clinical practice settings. Several reasons may explain this. The prevalence of both hyperuricemia and gout has risen in the last decades in developed countries and therefore the burden of gout has increased. The association of hyperuricemia and gout with cardiovascular outcomes and the opportunity of further benefits of intervention on hyperuricemia have been recently highlighted in the literature. Imaging techniques have proven to be useful for detection of urate deposition, even prior to the first clinical symptoms, enabling the evaluation of the extent of deposition and providing objective measurement of crystal depletion during urate-lowering treatment. Treating to target is increasingly used as the approach to treatment of diverse diseases. Therefore, different targets have been recommended for different stages of the burden of disease and for different stages of treatment. The final strategic target, to which any effort should be taken into consideration, is to completely dissolve urate crystals in tissues and therefore avoid further symptoms and structural damage of involved musculoskeletal structures. In summary, evidence suggest that an early approach to the treatment of gout and associated comorbidities is advisable, that new imaging techniques may help to evaluate both the burden of deposition and response to urate-lowering treatment in selected patients, and finally that the final strategic objective of healthcare for patients with gout is to completely resolve urate crystal deposits.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12325-014-0175-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4311063  PMID: 25533440
Crystal deposition disease; Gout; Hyperuricemia; Uric acid
15.  Reassessing serum urate targets in the management of refractory gout: Can you go too low? 
Current opinion in rheumatology  2009;21(2):138-142.
Purpose of review
Growing awareness of patients with refractory gout is prompting a reassessment of treatment strategy. This article reviews the current practice of targeting serum urate concentrations (sUA) in the mid-normal range (roughly 4–6 mg/dL), and considers the rationale for more aggressively lowering sUA in patients with poorly controlled chronic gout. Some hypothetical concerns with inducing hypouricemia are considered, and relevant clinical evidence is evaluated.
Recent findings
Recent studies confirm the benefits of modestly reducing sUA in many gout patients. However, tophi and tissue stores of monosodium urate crystals resolve slowly, particularly in patients with longstanding disease. Consistent with physicochemical principles, the rate of decrease in tophus size increases with a reduction in sUA concentration over a broad range. Reducing sUA to near or below 2 mg/dL can be achieved in some patients with current urate lowering drugs, but new drugs now under investigation may be more effective. As a free radical scavenger, uric acid has been postulated to protect from oxidative stress. However, inherited disorders associated with profound, lifelong hypouricemia indicate that maintaining sUA near or below 2 mg/dL would probably be safe.
Targeting low sUA could improve the elimination of tissue urate stores and achieve better control of disease in patients with refractory gout.
PMCID: PMC2920449  PMID: 19339924
Gout; tophus; hypouricemia; pegloticase; febuxostat
16.  ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in normal and pathological lung 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):59.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are a family of transmembrane proteins that can transport a wide variety of substrates across biological membranes in an energy-dependent manner. Many ABC transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) are highly expressed in bronchial epithelium. This review aims to give new insights in the possible functions of ABC molecules in the lung in view of their expression in different cell types. Furthermore, their role in protection against noxious compounds, e.g. air pollutants and cigarette smoke components, will be discussed as well as the (mal)function in normal and pathological lung. Several pulmonary drugs are substrates for ABC transporters and therefore, the delivery of these drugs to the site of action may be highly dependent on the presence and activity of many ABC transporters in several cell types. Three ABC transporters are known to play an important role in lung functioning. Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene can cause cystic fibrosis, and mutations in ABCA1 and ABCA3 are responsible for respectively Tangier disease and fatal surfactant deficiency. The role of altered function of ABC transporters in highly prevalent pulmonary diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have hardly been investigated so far. We especially focused on polymorphisms, knock-out mice models and in vitro results of pulmonary research. Insight in the function of ABC transporters in the lung may open new ways to facilitate treatment of lung diseases.
PMCID: PMC1200430  PMID: 15967026
17.  The human ortholog of the rodent testis-specific ABC transporter Abca17 is a ubiquitously expressed pseudogene (ABCA17P) and shares a common 5' end with ABCA3 
During the past years, we and others discovered a series of human ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, now referred to as ABC A-subfamily transporters. Recently, a novel testis-specific ABC A transporter, Abca17, has been cloned in rodent. In this study, we report the identification and characterization of the human ortholog of rodent Abca17.
The novel human ABC A-transporter gene on chromosome 16p13.3 is ubiquitously expressed with highest expression in glandular tissues and the heart. The new ABC transporter gene exhibits striking nucleotide sequence homology with the recently cloned mouse (58%) and rat Abca17 (51%), respectively, and is located in the syntenic region of mouse Abca17 indicating that it represents the human ortholog of rodent Abca17. However, unlike in the mouse, the full-length ABCA17 transcript (4.3 kb) contains numerous mutations that preclude its translation into a bona fide ABC transporter protein strongly suggesting that the human ABCA17 gene is a transcribed pseudogene (ABCA17P). We identified numerous alternative ABCA17P splice variants which are transcribed from two distinct transcription initiation sites. Genomic analysis revealed that ABCA17P borders on another ABC A-subfamily transporter – the lung surfactant deficiency gene ABCA3. Surprisingly, we found that both genes overlap at their first exons and are transcribed from opposite strands. This genomic colocalization and the observation that the ABCA17P and ABCA3 genes share significant homologies in several exons (up to 98%) suggest that both genes have evolved by gene duplication.
Our results demonstrate that ABCA17P and ABCA3 form a complex of overlapping genes in the human genome from which both non-coding and protein-coding ABC A-transporter RNAs are expressed. The fact that both genes overlap at their 5' ends suggests interdependencies in their regulation and may have important implications for the functional analysis of the disease gene ABCA3. Moreover, this is the first demonstration of the expression of a pseudogene and its parent gene from a common overlapping DNA region in the human genome.
PMCID: PMC1579226  PMID: 16968533
18.  Gout. Epidemiology of gout 
Gout is the most prevalent form of inflammatory arthropathy. Several studies suggest that its prevalence and incidence have risen in recent decades. Numerous risk factors for the development of gout have been established, including hyperuricaemia, genetic factors, dietary factors, alcohol consumption, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, obesity, diuretic use and chronic renal disease. Osteoarthritis predisposes to local crystal deposition. Gout appears to be an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, additional to the risk conferred by its association with traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3046529  PMID: 21205285
19.  Functional Polymorphisms of the ABCG2 Gene Are Associated with Gout Disease in the Chinese Han Male Population 
Gout is a common type of arthritis that is characterized by hyperuricemia, tophi and joint inflammation. Genetic variations in the ABCG2 gene have been reported to influence serum uric acid levels and to participate in the pathogenesis of gout, but no further data have been reported in the Han Chinese population.
Peripheral blood DNA was isolated from 352 male patients with gout and 350 gout-free normal male controls. High-resolution melting analysis and Sanger sequencing were performed to identify the genetic polymorphisms V12M, Q141K and Q126X in the ABCG2 gene. Genotype and haplotype analyses were utilized to determine the disease odds ratios (ORs). A prediction model for gout risk using ABCG2 protein function was established based on the genotype combination of Q126X and Q141K.
For Q141K, the A allele frequency was 49.6% in the gout patients and 30.9% in the controls (OR 2.20, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.77–2.74, p = 8.99 × 10−13). Regarding Q126X, the T allele frequency was 4.7% in the gout patients and 1.7% in the controls (OR 2.91, 95% CI: 1.49–5.68, p = 1.57 × 10−3). The A allele frequency for V12M was lower (18.3%) in the gout patients than in the controls (29%) (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.43–0.71, p = 2.55 × 10−6). In the order of V12M, Q126X and Q141K, the GCA and GTC haplotypes indicated increased disease risk (OR = 2.30 and 2.71, respectively). Patients with mild to severe ABCG2 dysfunction accounted for 78.4% of gout cases.
The ABCG2 126X and 141K alleles are associated with an increased risk of gout, whereas 12M has a protective effect on gout susceptibility in the Han Chinese population. ABCG2 dysfunction can be used to evaluate gout risk.
PMCID: PMC4057780  PMID: 24857923
gout; uric acid; polymorphism; ABCG2
20.  Multidrug Resistance Proteins (MRPs/ABCCs) in Cancer Chemotherapy and Genetic Diseases 
The FEBS journal  2011;278(18):3226-3245.
The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are a superfamily of membrane proteins that are best known for their ability to transport a wide variety of exogenous and endogenous substances across membranes against a concentration gradient via ATP hydrolysis. There are seven subfamilies of human ABC transporters, one of the largest being the ‘C’ subfamily (gene symbol ABCC). Nine ABCC subfamily members, the so-called Multidrug Resistance Proteins (MRPs) 1-9, have been implicated in mediating multidrug resistance in tumor cells to varying degrees as the efflux extrude chemotherapeutic compounds (or their metabolites) from malignant cells. Some of the MRPs are also known to either influence drug disposition in normal tissues or modulate the elimination of drugs (or their metabolites) via hepatobiliary or renal excretory pathways. In addition, the cellular efflux of physiologically important organic anions such as leukotriene C4 and cAMP is mediated by one or more of the MRPs. Finally, mutations in several MRPs are associated with human genetic disorders. In this review article, the current biochemical and physiological knowledge of MRP1-MRP9 in cancer chemotherapy and human genetic disease is summarized. The mutations in MRP2/ABCC2 leading to conjugated hyperbilirubinemia (Dubin-Johnson syndrome) and in MRP6/ABCC6 leading to the connective tissue disorder Pseudoxanthoma elasticum are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC3168698  PMID: 21740521
ABCC Transporters; Dubin-Johnson Syndrome; Multidrug Resistance; Multiple Resistance Protein; Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum
21.  Advances in the management of gout: Critical appraisal of febuxostat in the control of hyperuricemia 
Gout recently passed rheumatoid arthritis to become the most common inflammatory arthritis in the United States (US). However, epidemiologic studies indicate that the quality of gout management is suboptimal owing to both patient and physician issues. Only three options for urate-lowering therapy are currently available in the US: allopurinol, probenecid, and recently, febuxostat. Probenecid is generally safe except for the occurrence of urolithiasis, but is only effective for the subset of patients with better kidney function. Allopurinol use is limited due to its side effects, potential toxicity of uncertain magnitude in patients with renal disease, and failure to achieve targeted serum urate levels. In part this failure may be due to the necessity for it to be titrated for optimal therapeutic effect. Febuxostat is a new medication that may offer several advantages and can be given as an alternative to allopurinol. We review the basic biology and clinical performance of febuxostat, and consider the potential utility of this agent in comparison to the older, better-established gout therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3108781  PMID: 21694922
allopurinol; gout suppressants; nephrolithiasis; uric acid; urolithiasis
22.  The Emerging Role of Biotechnological Drugs in the Treatment of Gout 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:264859.
One of the most important therapeutic advances obtained in the field of rheumatology is the availability of the so-called bio(techno)logical drugs, which have deeply changed treatment perspectives in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. According to the steadily increasing attention on gout, due to well-established prognostic and epidemiology implications, in the last 5 years, the same change of perspective has been observed also for this disease. In fact, several bio(techno)logical agents have been investigated both for the management of the articular gout symptoms, targeting mainly interleukin-1β, as well as urate-lowering therapies such as recombinant uricases. Among the IL-1β inhibitors, the majority of studies involve drugs such as anakinra, canakinumab, and rilonacept, but other compounds are under development. Moreover, other potential targets have been suggested, as, for example, the TNF alpha and IL-6, even if data obtained are less robust than those of IL-1β inhibitors. Regarding urate-lowering therapies, the recombinant uricases pegloticase and rasburicase clearly showed their effectiveness in gout patients. Also in this case, new compounds are under development. The aim of this review is to focus on the various aspects of different bio(techno)logical drugs in gouty patients.
PMCID: PMC4009249  PMID: 24839602
23.  Association of three genetic loci with uric acid concentration and risk of gout: a genome-wide association study 
Lancet  2008;372(9654):1953-1961.
Hyperuricemia, a highly heritable trait, is a key risk factor for gout. We aimed to identify novel genes related to serum uric acid (UA) and gout.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted for serum UA in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS; n=7699) and the Rotterdam Study (RS; n=4148). Genome-wide significant SNPs were replicated among white (n=11024) and black (n=3843) Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study participants. The association of these SNPs was evaluated with gout; results in whites were combined using meta-analysis.
Three loci in FHS and two in the RS showed genome-wide significance with UA. Top SNPs in each locus were: missense SNP rs16890979 in SLC2A9 (p=7.0×10−168 [whites]; 2.9×10−18 [blacks]), missense SNP rs2231142 in ABCG2 (p=2.5×10−60 [whites]; 9.8×10−4 [blacks]), and rs1165205 in SLC17A3 (p=3.3×10−26 [whites]; 0.33 [blacks]). All SNPs showed direction-consistent association with gout in whites: rs16890979 (OR 0.58 per T allele, 95% CI 0.53–0.63, p=1.2×10−31), rs2231142 (OR=1.74 per T allele, 1.51–1.99, p=3.3×10−15), and rs1165205 (OR=0.85 per T allele, 0.77–0.94, p=0.002). In ARIC blacks, rs2231142 showed a direction-consistent association with gout (OR=1.71, 1.06–2.77, p=0.028). An additive genetic risk score (0–6) comprised of high risk alleles at the three loci showed graded associations in each study across scores with UA (from 272–351 μmol/l [FHS], 269–386 μmol/l [RS], and 303–426 μmol/l [ARIC whites]) and gout (prevalence 2–13% [FHS], 2–8% [RS], 1–18% [ARIC whites]).
We identified three genetic loci (two novel including a candidate functional variant Q141K in ABCG2) related to UA and gout. A score based on genes with a putative role in renal urate handling showed a substantial risk gradient for gout.
PMCID: PMC2803340  PMID: 18834626
genome-wide association; uric acid; gout; epidemiology
24.  Gout: Current Concepts and Treatment 
Canadian Family Physician  1970;16(1):43-45.
Gout is a disorder of purine metabolism, of varied etiology, associated with an increase in serum uric acid and a recurrent arthritis. The defect may be either metabolic or renal, or either unknown etiology or associated with other disease states. The acute arthritis has been shown to be due to a crystal (sodium urate) synovitis. The many chronic complications, arthritic, renal and vascular, necessitate a vigorous and longterm treatment program. With the advent of the xanthine oxidase inhibiter Allopurinol, excellent control of gout and its complications can be achieved in a large number of patients, with good control in the remainder.
PMCID: PMC2281486  PMID: 20468463
25.  Complex Analysis of Urate Transporters SLC2A9, SLC22A12 and Functional Characterization of Non-Synonymous Allelic Variants of GLUT9 in the Czech Population: No Evidence of Effect on Hyperuricemia and Gout 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107902.
Using European descent Czech populations, we performed a study of SLC2A9 and SLC22A12 genes previously identified as being associated with serum uric acid concentrations and gout. This is the first study of the impact of non-synonymous allelic variants on the function of GLUT9 except for patients suffering from renal hypouricemia type 2.
The cohort consisted of 250 individuals (150 controls, 54 nonspecific hyperuricemics and 46 primary gout and/or hyperuricemia subjects). We analyzed 13 exons of SLC2A9 (GLUT9 variant 1 and GLUT9 variant 2) and 10 exons of SLC22A12 by PCR amplification and sequenced directly. Allelic variants were prepared and their urate uptake and subcellular localization were studied by Xenopus oocytes expression system. The functional studies were analyzed using the non-parametric Wilcoxon and Kruskall-Wallis tests; the association study used the Fisher exact test and linear regression approach.
We identified a total of 52 sequence variants (12 unpublished). Eight non-synonymous allelic variants were found only in SLC2A9: rs6820230, rs2276961, rs144196049, rs112404957, rs73225891, rs16890979, rs3733591 and rs2280205. None of these variants showed any significant difference in the expression of GLUT9 and in urate transport. In the association study, eight variants showed a possible association with hyperuricemia. However, seven of these were in introns and the one exon located variant, rs7932775, did not show a statistically significant association with serum uric acid concentration.
Our results did not confirm any effect of SLC22A12 and SLC2A9 variants on serum uric acid concentration. Our complex approach using association analysis together with functional and immunohistochemical characterization of non-synonymous allelic variants did not show any influence on expression, subcellular localization and urate uptake of GLUT9.
PMCID: PMC4182324  PMID: 25268603

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