Analysis of thiamine transporter genes in sporadic beriberi

Valentina Bravatà, Luigi Minafra, Graziella Callari, Cecilia Gelfi, Luigi Maria Edoardo Grimaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency diminishes thiamine-dependent enzymatic activity, alters mitochondrial function, impairs oxidative metabolism, and causes selective neuronal death. We analyzed for the first time, the role of all known mutations within three specific thiamine carrier genes, SLC19 A2, SLC19 A3, and SLC25 A19, in a patient with atrophic beriberi, a multiorgan nutritional disease caused by thiamine deficiency. Methods: A 44-year-old male alcoholic patient from Morocco developed massive bilateral leg edema, a subacute sensorimotor neuropathy, and incontinence. Despite normal vitamin B1 serum levels, his clinical picture was rapidly reverted by high-dose intramuscular thiamine treatment, suggesting a possible genetic resistance. We used polymerase chain reaction followed by amplicon sequencing to study all the known thiamine-related gene mutations identified within the Human Gene Mutation Database. Results: Thirty-seven mutations were tested: 29 in SLC19 A2, 6 in SLC19 A3, and 2 in SLC25 A19. Mutational analyses showed a wild-type genotype for all sequences investigated. Conclusion: This is the first genetic study in beriberi disease. We did not detect any known mutation in any of the three genes in a sporadic dry beriberi patient. We cannot exclude a role for other known or unknown mutations, in the same genes or in other thiamine-associated genes, in the occurrence of this nutritional neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-488
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Beriberi
  • Mutations
  • SLC19 A2
  • SLC19 A3
  • SLC25 A19
  • Thiamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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