Purpose: We reviewed the literature describing recent advances in the understanding of the nature of the transport proteins involved in the renal transport of cystine, properties of the solute carrier family 3, member 1 (SLC3A1) gene, which is involved in renal cystine transport, and the mutations reported in this gene, which have been shown to be the causative factor in approximately half of the cases of type I cystinuria studied. Materials and Methods: The MEDLINE data base from 1966 to date and the internet online mendelian inheritance in man were searched using cystinuria, cystine crossed with biological transporters and cystine transporter as key words. Selected citations within these references were also reviewed. Results: The SLC3A1 gene has been shown to code for a protein that, when expressed in Xenopus oocytes, confers on these cells the ability to transport cystine, arginine, lysine and ornithine. To date 21 different mutations and 9 polymorphisms have been reported in the SLC3A1 gene isolated from cystinuric patients. Conclusions: Type I cystinuria appears to be due to mutations in the SLC3A1 gene, while the molecular genetic determinants of types II and III cystinuria remain to be delineated.
- molecular biology
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