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Research Article

Molecular analysis of the fructose transporter gene (GLUT5) in isolated fructose malabsorption.

D Wasserman, J H Hoekstra, V Tolia, C J Taylor, B S Kirschner, J Takeda, G I Bell, R Taub and E B Rand

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Division of Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Published November 15, 1996

Fructose, a naturally occurring monosaccharide, is increasingly used as an added sweetener in processed foods in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Increased fructose intake combined with the identification of children with clinical evidence of isolated fructose malabsorption (IFM) has stimulated interest in possible disorders of fructose absorption. The intestinal absorption of fructose is carried out by the facilitative hexose transporter, which has been designated as GLUT5. Functional properties and tissue distribution of GLUT5 suggest that IFM might be due to mutations in the GLUT5 gene. To test this hypothesis, we screened the GLUT5 gene for mutations in a group of eight patients with IFM and in one subject with global malabsorption, as compared with 15 healthy parents of subjects and up to 6 unrelated controls. No mutations were found in the protein coding region of this gene in any of the subjects. A single G to A substitution in the 5' untranslated region of exon 1 was identified in the subject with global malabsorption. This subject and her healthy mother were heterozygous for the variant sequence, suggesting that it was unlikely to be clinically significant. In addition, sequence analysis of each of the 12 GLUT5 exons was performed in the index case and confirmed the negative single-strand conformation polymorphism findings. These studies demonstrate that IFM does not result from the expression of mutant GLUT5 protein.

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