Conditional knockout of the Slc5a6 gene in mouse intestine impairs biotin absorption

Abhisek Ghosal, Nils Lambrecht, Sandeep B. Subramanya, Rubina Kapadia, Hamid M. Said

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The Slc5a6 gene expresses a plasma membrane protein involved in the transport of the watersoluble vitamin biotin; the transporter is commonly referred to as the sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT) because it also transports pantothenic acid and lipoic acid. The relative contribution of the SMVT system toward carrier-mediated biotin uptake in the native intestine in vivo has not been established. We used a Cre/lox technology to generate an intestine-specific (conditional) SMVT knockout (KO) mouse model to address this issue. The KO mice exhibited absence of expression of SMVT in the intestine compared with sex-matched littermates as well as the expected normal SMVT expression in other tissues. About two-thirds of the KO mice died prematurely between the age of 6 and 10 wk. Growth retardation, decreased bone density, decreased bone length, and decreased biotin status were observed in the KO mice. Microscopic analysis showed histological abnormalities in the small bowel (shortened villi, dysplasia) and cecum (chronic active inflammation, dysplasia) of the KO mice. In vivo (and in vitro) transport studies showed complete inhibition in carrier-mediated biotin uptake in the intestine of the KO mice compared with their control littermates. These studies provide the first in vivo confirmation in native intestine that SMVT is solely responsible for intestinal biotin uptake. These studies also provide evidence for a casual association between SMVT function and normal intestinal health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G64-G71
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene knockout
  • Intestinal uptake
  • Sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Conditional knockout of the Slc5a6 gene in mouse intestine impairs biotin absorption'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this