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1.  Serum MEPE-ASARM-peptides are elevated in X-linked rickets (HYP): implications for phosphaturia and rickets 
The Journal of Endocrinology  2004;183(3):R1-R9.
MEPE (Matrix Extracellular PhosphoglycoprotEin) expression is markedly elevated in X-linked-hypophosphatemic-rickets (HYP) and tumor-induced osteomalacia (TIO). In normal individuals, circulating serum-levels of MEPE are tightly correlated with serum-phosphorus, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and bone mineral density (BMD). Also, MEPE derived, C-terminal ASARM-peptides are candidate minhibins and/or phosphatonins. Our aims were to determine: 1. whether MEPE-ASARM-peptide(s) are abnormally elevated in HYP/hyp serum, and, 2. whether the ASARM-peptide(s) accumulate in hyp mice kidney renal-tubules. Using a specific competitive ELISA we measured a five fold increase (P=0·007) of serum ASARM-peptide(s) in human HYP patients (normal subjects 3·25 μM n=9; S.E.M.=0·51 and HYP-patients 15·74 μM, n=9; S.E.M.=3·32). A 6·23 fold increase (P=0·008) was measured in hyp male mice compared with their normal male siblings (normal-siblings, 3·73 μM, S.E.M.=0·57, n=3; and hyp-mice 23·4 μM, n=3, S.E.M.=4·01). Renal immuno-histological screening also revealed a dramatic increase of ASARM-peptides in regions anatomically consistent with the proximal convoluted tubules. This study demonstrates for the first time that markedly elevated serum levels of protease-resistant ASARM-peptide(s) occur in HYP/hyp and they accumulate in murine hyp kidneys. These peptides are thus likely responsible for the phosphaturia and defective mineralization in HYP/hyp and TIO.
PMCID: PMC3357083  PMID: 15590969
2.  Loss of DMP1 causes rickets and osteomalacia and identifies a role for osteocytes in mineral metabolism 
Nature genetics  2006;38(11):1310-1315.
The osteocyte, a terminally differentiated cell comprising 90%–95% of all bone cells1,2, may have multiple functions, including acting as a mechanosensor in bone (re)modeling3. Dentin matrix protein 1 (encoded by DMP1) is highly expressed in osteocytes4 and, when deleted in mice, results in a hypomineralized bone phenotype5. We investigated the potential for this gene not only to direct skeletal mineralization but also to regulate phosphate (Pi) homeostasis. Both Dmp1- null mice and individuals with a newly identified disorder, autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets, manifest rickets and osteomalacia with isolated renal phosphate-wasting associated with elevated fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) levels and normocalciuria. Mutational analyses showed that autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets family carried a mutation affecting the DMP1 start codon, and a second family carried a 7-bp deletion disrupting the highly conserved DMP1 C terminus. Mechanistic studies using Dmp1-null mice demonstrated that absence of DMP1 results in defective osteocyte maturation and increased FGF23 expression, leading to pathological changes in bone mineralization. Our findings suggest a bone-renal axis that is central to guiding proper mineral metabolism.
PMCID: PMC1839871  PMID: 17033621
3.  Mutational analysis of PHEX, FGF23 and DMP1 in a cohort of patients with hypophosphatemic rickets 
Clinical endocrinology  2011;74(3):312-318.
X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets and autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets make up a group of renal phosphate wasting disorders with common clinical and biochemical characteristics. These three types of rickets are related to mutations in PHEX, FGF23 and DMP1, respectively.
The objective of the study was to evaluate the frequency of mutations that occur in these three genes associated with hypophosphatemic rickets.
Patients and Methods
In this study, we sequenced these genes in 76 members of 46 kindreds from a large hypophosphatemic rickets cohort.
Forty two individuals from 27 kindreds were found to have mutations in PHEX, 16 of which were novel. One subject had an FGF23 mutation. No individuals were found to have mutations in DMP1 consistent with the presence of recessive hypophosphatemic rickets.
Our data highlight the wide spectrum of genetic variation that can be seen in PHEX, FGF23 and DMP1 when screening a large cohort with hypophosphatemic rickets.
PMCID: PMC3035757  PMID: 21050253
PHEX; FGF23; DMP1 in phosphate rickets
4.  Osteocyte regulation of phosphate homeostasis and bone mineralization underlies the pathophysiology of the heritable disorders of rickets and osteomalacia 
Bone  2013;54(2):213-221.
Although recent studies have established that osteocytes function as secretory cells that regulate phosphate metabolism, the biomolecular mechanism(s) underlying these effects remain incompletely defined. However, investigations focusing on the pathogenesis of X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR), and autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets (ARHR), heritable disorders characterized by abnormal renal phosphate wasting and bone mineralization, have clearly implicated FGF23 as a central factor in osteocytes underlying renal phosphate wasting, documented new molecular pathways regulating FGF23 production, and revealed complementary abnormalities in osteocytes that regulate bone mineralization. The seminal observations leading to these discoveries were the following: 1) mutations in FGF23 cause ADHR by limiting cleavage of the bioactive intact molecule, at a subtilisin-like protein convertase (SPC) site, resulting in increased circulating FGF23 levels and hypophosphatemia; 2) mutations in DMP1 cause ARHR, not only by increasing serum FGF23, albeit by enhanced production and not limited cleavage, but also by limiting production of the active DMP1 component, the C-terminal fragment, resulting in dysregulated production of DKK1 and β-catenin, which contributes to impaired bone mineralization; and 3) mutations in PHEX cause XLH both by altering FGF23 proteolysis and production and causing dysregulated production of DKK1 and β-catenin, similar to abnormalities in ADHR and ARHR, but secondary to different central pathophysiological events. These discoveries indicate that ADHR, XLH, and ARHR represent three related heritable hypophosphatemic diseases that arise from mutations in, or dysregulation of, a single common gene product, FGF23 and, in ARHR and XLH, complimentary DMP1 and PHEX directed events that contribute to abnormal bone mineralization.
PMCID: PMC3672228  PMID: 23403405
5.  Evaluation of a Role for 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of X-linked Hypophosphatemic Rickets and Osteomalacia 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1980;66(5):1020-1032.
Although a defect in renal transport of phosphate seems well established as the primary abnormality underlying the pathogenesis of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets and osteomalacia, several observations indicate that renal phosphate wasting and hypophosphatemia cannot solely account for the spectrum of abnormalities characteristic of this disease. Thus, in the present study, we investigated the potential role of abnormal vitamin D metabolism in the pathogenesis of this disorder and the effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 therapy on both the biochemical abnormalities characteristic of this disease and the osteomalacia. Four untreated patients, ages 14-30 yr, had normocalcemia (9.22±0.06 mg/dl); hypophosphatemia (2.25±0.11 mg/dl); a decreased renal tubular maximum for the reabsorption of phosphate per liter of glomerular filtrate (2.12±0.09 mg/dl); normal serum immunoreactive parathyroid hormone concentration; negative phosphate balance; and bone biopsy evidence of osteomalacia. The serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentration was 33.9±7.2 ng/ml and, despite hypophosphatemia, the serum level of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 was not increased, but was normal at 30.3±2.8 pg/ml. These data suggested that abnormal homeostasis of vitamin D metabolism might be a second defect central to the phenotypic expression of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia. This hypothesis was supported by evaluation of the long-term response to pharmacological amounts of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 therapy in three subjects. The treatment regimen resulted in elevation of the serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels to values in the supraphysiological range. Moreover, the serum phosphate and renal tubular maximum for the reabsorption of phosphate per liter of glomerular filtrate increased towards normal whereas the phosphate balance became markedly positive. Most importantly, however, repeat bone biopsies revealed that therapy had positively affected the osteomalacic component of the disease, resulting in normalization of the mineralization front activity. Indeed, a central role for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in the mineralization of the osteomalacic bone is suggested by the linear relationship between the serum level of this active vitamin D metabolite and the mineralization front activity. We, therefore, suggest that a relative deficiency of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is a factor in the pathogenesis of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets and osteomalacia and may modulate the phenotypic expression of this disease.
PMCID: PMC371539  PMID: 6253520
6.  Hypophosphatemic rickets: A case of recurrent pathological fractures 
Renal phosphate-wasting disorders are the most common form of hereditary rickets and osteomalacia in western countries, but are rarely reported in India. Therefore, we report here a case of hypophosphatemic rickets.
Aim and objective:
To report a case of hypophosphatemic rickets presenting with recurrent pathological fractures.
Material and Methods:
A 34-year-old premenopausal lady presented with recurrent pathological fractures, bone pain, and muscle weakness since 14 years of age. A thorough history was taken followed by clinical examination, and relevant biochemical and radiological investigations were done.
Height was 125 cm, arm span 145 cm, body weight 30 kg, and body mass index (BMI) 19.2 kg/m2. Dental caries, kyphoscoliosis, shortening of left lower limb, bilateral coxa vara deformity of knee, muscle weakness, and bone tenderness were present. Calcium was 9.4 mg/dL, phosphorus: 1.8 mg/dL, albumin: 4.0 gm/dL, alkaline phosphatase: 360 U/L, creatinine: 0.4 mg/dL, a normal ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) loading test,24-hour urine calcium excretion: 102 mg/day, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3]: 21.6 ng/mL, intact parathyroid hormone (PTH): 43.74 pg/mL, fraction excretion of phosphate (PO4): 40%, tubular maximum reabsorption of phosphate per unit of glomerular filtrate (TmP/GFR): 0.65 mg/dL, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)23: 321.4 RU/mL. Skeletal X-rays showed multiple old fractures and pseudofractures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the whole body showed no evidence of tumor. Fludeoxyglucose (18F)-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) computed tomography (CT) scan revealed metabolically active marrow with multiple areas of fracture and FDG-avid lesions in both lungs but no CT-based findings.
Hypophosphatemic rickets or osteomalacia, possibly hereditary, is a rare cause of recurrent pathological fractures.
PMCID: PMC3603091  PMID: 23565443
Hypophosphatemic rickets; osteomalacia; pathological fracture
7.  Healing of bone disease in X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia. Induction and maintenance with phosphorus and calcitriol. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1985;75(6):1858-1868.
Although conventional therapy (pharmacologic doses of vitamin D and phosphorus supplementation) is usually successful in healing the rachitic bone lesion in patients with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, it does not heal the coexistent osteomalacia. Because serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels are inappropriately low in these patients and high calcitriol concentrations may be required to heal the osteomalacia, we chose to treat five affected subjects with high doses of calcitriol (68.2 +/- 10.0 ng/kg total body weight/d) and supplemental phosphorus (1-2 g/d) performing metabolic studies and bone biopsies before and after 5-8 mo of this therapy in each individual. Of these five patients, three (aged 13, 13, and 19 yr) were receiving conventional treatment at the inception of the study and therefore showed base-line serum phosphorus concentrations within the normal range. The remaining two untreated patients (aged 2 and 37 yr) displayed characteristic hypophosphatemia before calcitriol therapy. All five patients demonstrated serum calcitriol levels in the low normal range (22.5 +/- 3.2 pg/ml), impaired renal phosphorus conservation (tubular maximum for the reabsorption of phosphate per deciliter of glomerular filtrate, 2.13 +/- 0.20 mg/dl), and osteomalacia on bone biopsy (relative osteoid volume, 14.4 +/- 1.7%; mean osteoid seam width, 27.7 +/- 3.7 micron; mineral apposition rate, 0.46 +/- 0.12 micron/d). On high doses of calcitriol, serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels rose into the supraphysiologic range (74.1 +/- 3.8 pg/ml) with an associated increment in the serum phosphorus concentration (2.82 +/- 0.19 to 3.78 +/- 0.32 mg/dl) and improvement of the renal tubular maximum for phosphate reabsorption (3.17 +/- 0.22 mg/dl). The serum calcium rose in each patient while the immunoactive parathyroid hormone concentration measured by three different assays remained within the normal range. Most importantly, repeat bone biopsies showed that high doses of calcitriol and phosphorus supplements had reversed the mineralization defect in all patients (mineral apposition rate, 0.88 +/- 0.04 micron/d) and consequently reduced parameters of bone osteoid content to normal (relative osteoid volume, 4.1 +/- 0.7%; mean osteoid seam width, 11.0 +/- 1.0 micron). Complications (hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria) ensued in four of these five patients within 1-17 mo of documented bone healing, necessitating reduction of calcitriol doses to a mean of 1.6 +/- 0.2 micrograms/d (28 +/- 4 ng/kg ideal body weight per day). At follow-up bone biopsy, these four subjects continued to manifest normal bone mineralization dynamics (mineral apposition rate, 0.88 +/-0.10 micrometer/d) on reduced doses of 1.25-dihydroxyvitamin D with phosphorus supplements (2 g/d) for a mean of 21.3 +/- 1.3 mo after bone healing was first documented. Static histomorphometric parameters also remained normal (relative osteoid volume, 1.5 +/- 0.4%; mean osteoid seam width, 13.5 +/- 0.8 micrometer). These data indicate that administration of supraphysiologic amounts of calcitriol, in conjunction with oral phosphorus, results in complete healing of vitamin D resistant osteomalacia in patients with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets. Although complications predictably require calcitriol dose reductions once healing is achieved, continued bone healing can be maintained for up to 1 yr with lower doses of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and continued phosphorus supplementation.
PMCID: PMC425542  PMID: 3839245
8.  A Novel PHEX Mutation in Japanese Patients with X-Linked Hypophosphatemic Rickets 
Case Reports in Genetics  2015;2015:301264.
X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH) is a dominant inherited disorder characterized by renal phosphate wasting, aberrant vitamin D metabolism, and abnormal bone mineralization. Inactivating mutations in the gene encoding phosphate-regulating gene with homologies to endopeptidases on the X chromosome (PHEX) have been found to be associated with XLH. Here, we report a 16-year-old female patient affected by hypophosphatemic rickets. We evaluated her serum fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) levels and conducted sequence analysis of the disease-associated genes of FGF23-related hypophosphatemic rickets: PHEX, FGF23, dentin matrix protein 1, and ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1. She was diagnosed with XLH based on her clinical features and family history. Additionally, we observed elevated FGF23 levels and a novel PHEX exon 9 mutation (c.947G>T; p.Gly316Val) inherited from her father. Although bioinformatics showed that the mutation was neutral, Gly316 is perfectly conserved among humans, mice, and rats, and there were no mutations in other FGF23-related rickets genes, suggesting that in silico analysis is limited in determining mutation pathogenicity. In summary, we present a female patient and her father with XLH harboring a novel PHEX mutation that appears to be causative of disease. Measurement of FGF23 for hypophosphatemic patients is therefore useful for the diagnosis of FGF23-dependent hypophosphatemia.
PMCID: PMC4377384  PMID: 25861491
9.  Inactivation of a Novel FGF23 Regulator, FAM20C, Leads to Hypophosphatemic Rickets in Mice 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(5):e1002708.
Family with sequence similarity 20,-member C (FAM20C) is highly expressed in the mineralized tissues of mammals. Genetic studies showed that the loss-of-function mutations in FAM20C were associated with human lethal osteosclerotic bone dysplasia (Raine Syndrome), implying an inhibitory role of this molecule in bone formation. However, in vitro gain- and loss-of-function studies suggested that FAM20C promotes the differentiation and mineralization of mouse mesenchymal cells and odontoblasts. Recently, we generated Fam20c conditional knockout (cKO) mice in which Fam20c was globally inactivated (by crossbreeding with Sox2-Cre mice) or inactivated specifically in the mineralized tissues (by crossbreeding with 3.6 kb Col 1a1-Cre mice). Fam20c transgenic mice were also generated and crossbred with Fam20c cKO mice to introduce the transgene in the knockout background. In vitro gain- and loss-of-function were examined by adding recombinant FAM20C to MC3T3-E1 cells and by lentiviral shRNA–mediated knockdown of FAM20C in human and mouse osteogenic cell lines. Surprisingly, both the global and mineralized tissue-specific cKO mice developed hypophosphatemic rickets (but not osteosclerosis), along with a significant downregulation of osteoblast differentiation markers and a dramatic elevation of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) in the serum and bone. The mice expressing the Fam20c transgene in the wild-type background showed no abnormalities, while the expression of the Fam20c transgene fully rescued the skeletal defects in the cKO mice. Recombinant FAM20C promoted the differentiation and mineralization of MC3T3-E1 cells. Knockdown of FAM20C led to a remarkable downregulation of DMP1, along with a significant upregulation of FGF23 in both human and mouse osteogenic cell lines. These results indicate that FAM20C is a bone formation “promoter” but not an “inhibitor” in mouse osteogenesis. We conclude that FAM20C may regulate osteogenesis through its direct role in facilitating osteoblast differentiation and its systemic regulation of phosphate homeostasis via the mediation of FGF23.
Author Summary
A recent study demonstrated that the inactivating mutations in the FAM20C gene were associated with lethal osteosclerotic bone dysplasia characterized by a generalized hardening of all bones; this observation implied an inhibitory role of FAM20C during bone formation. However, in vitro studies revealed a contradictory finding that FAM20C accelerated the differentiation of cells forming the mineralized tissues. Here we generated Fam20c conditional knockout (cKO) mice, in which the gene was inactivated either in all tissues or specifically in the mineralized tissues. We also generated recombinant FAM20C protein and Fam20c transgenic mice. The cKO mice did not mimic the human skeleton abnormalities of osteosclerotic bone dysplasia, but exhibited rickets (softer bone) along with a significant reduction of serum phosphate level and a remarkable elevation of serum FGF23, a hormone known to promote phosphate wasting. A number of differentiation markers of the bone-forming cells were downregulated in the cKO mice. Recombinant FAM20C promoted the differentiation of mouse preosteoblasts. Introducing the Fam20c transgene did not lead to any abnormalities but rescued the bone defects of the cKO mice. Taken together, we conclude that FAM20C promotes the differentiation of osteoblast lineages and regulates phosphate homeostasis via the mediation of FGF23.
PMCID: PMC3355082  PMID: 22615579
10.  Hypophosphatemic rickets: Revealing Novel Control Points for Phosphate Homeostasis 
Current osteoporosis reports  2014;12(3):252-262.
Rapid and somewhat surprising advances have recently been made towards understanding the molecular mechanisms causing heritable disorders of hypophosphatemia. The results of clinical, genetic, and translational studies have interwoven novel concepts underlying the endocrine control of phosphate metabolism, with far-reaching implications for treatment of both rare, Mendelian diseases as well as common disorders of blood phosphate excess such as chronic kidney disease (CKD). In particular, diseases caused by changes in the expression and proteolytic control of the phosphaturic hormone Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) have come to the forefront in terms of directing new models explaining mineral metabolism. These hypophosphatemic disorders, as well as others resulting from independent defects in phosphate transport or metabolism, will be reviewed herein, and implications for emerging therapeutic strategies based upon these new findings will be discussed.
PMCID: PMC4139065  PMID: 24980542
phosphate; hypophosphatemia; hyperphosphatemia; osteomalacia; FGF23; αKlotho; mineralization; rickets; furin; Fam20c; DMP1; ENPP1; GALNT3
11.  Molecular Analysis of DMP1 Mutants Causing Autosomal Recessive Hypophosphatemic Rickets 
Bone  2008;44(2):287-294.
We previously demonstrated that the mutations Met1Val (M1V) and the deletion of nucleotides 1484-1490 (1484-1490del) in Dentin matrix protein-1 (DMP1) cause the novel disorder autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets (ARHR), which is associated with elevated Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23). To further understand the role of DMP1 in ARHR, we undertook molecular genetic and in vitro expression studies. First, we examined a kindred with a severe hypophosphatemic rickets phenotype and recessive inheritance. Analyses of this family demonstrated that the affected members had elevated serum FGF23 and carried a large, biallelic deletion that removed the majority of DMP1. At a minimum, this deletion encompassed 49 kb between DMP1 exon 3 and an intergenic region 5′ to the next telomeric gene, integrin-binding sialoprotein (IBSP). We next performed immunofluorescent studies in cells to understand the effects of the known ARHR mutations on DMP1 cellular processing. These analyses showed that the M1V DMP1 mutant was not sorted to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and secretory pathway, but filled the entire cytoplasm. In contrast, the 1484-1490del mutant localized to the TGN and was secreted, similar to wild type DMP1. The 1484-1490del mutation replaces the DMP1 18 C-terminal amino acids with 33 non-native residues. Truncation of wild type DMP1 by these native 18 residues followed by Western blot and confocal microscopic analyses demonstrated a wild type expression pattern when compared with the 1484-1490del mutant, indicating that the last 18 residues are not critical for cellular trafficking, but that the 33 additional residues arising from the 1484-1490del mutation likely compromise DMP1 processing. The relationship between DMP1 and FGF23 is unclear. To test endogenous DMP1 response to serum metabolites that also regulate FGF23, UMR-106 cells were treated with 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D (1×10−7M) and showed a 12-fold increase in DMP1 mRNA and protein at 24 hr. In summary, we have identified a novel DMP1 deletion as the cause of ARHR, as well as demonstrated that the ARHR mutations alter DMP1 cellular processing, and that DMP1 can be regulated by vitamin D. Taken together, this work expands our understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms associated with DMP1 alterations causing ARHR.
PMCID: PMC2669955  PMID: 19007919
FGF23; vitamin D; ARHR; SIBLING; hypophosphatemia
12.  Three Novel Mutations in the PHEX Gene in Chinese Subjects with Hypophosphatemic Rickets Extends Genotypic Variability 
Calcified Tissue International  2011;88(5):370-377.
Mutations in the phosphate-regulating endopeptidase homolog, X-linked, gene (PHEX), which encodes a zinc-dependent endopeptidase that is involved in bone mineralization and renal phosphate reabsorption, cause the most common form of hypophosphatemic rickets, X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH). The distribution of PHEX mutations is extensive, but few mutations have been identified in Chinese with XLH. We extracted genomic DNA and total RNA from leukocytes obtained from nine unrelated Chinese subjects (three males and six females, age range 11–36 years) who were living in Taiwan. The PHEX gene was amplified from DNA by PCR, and the amplicons were directly sequenced. Expression studies were performed by reverse-transcription PCR of leukocyte RNA. Serum levels of FGF23 were significantly greater in the patients than in normal subjects (mean 69.4 ± 18.8 vs. 27.2 ± 8.4 pg/mL, P < 0.005), and eight of the nine patients had elevated levels of FGF23. Germline mutations in the PHEX gene were identified in five of 9 patients, including novel c.1843 delA, donor splice site mutations c.663+2delT and c.1899+2T>A, and two previously reported missense mutations, p.C733Y and p.G579R. These data extend the spectrum of mutations in the PHEX gene in Han Chinese and confirm variability for XLH in Taiwan.
PMCID: PMC3075400  PMID: 21293852
X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets; PHEX; FGF23; Mutation analysis
13.  Therapeutic management of hypophosphatemic rickets from infancy to adulthood 
Endocrine Connections  2014;3(1):R13-R30.
In children, hypophosphatemic rickets (HR) is revealed by delayed walking, waddling gait, leg bowing, enlarged cartilages, bone pain, craniostenosis, spontaneous dental abscesses, and growth failure. If undiagnosed during childhood, patients with hypophosphatemia present with bone and/or joint pain, fractures, mineralization defects such as osteomalacia, entesopathy, severe dental anomalies, hearing loss, and fatigue. Healing rickets is the initial endpoint of treatment in children. Therapy aims at counteracting consequences of FGF23 excess, i.e. oral phosphorus supplementation with multiple daily intakes to compensate for renal phosphate wasting and active vitamin D analogs (alfacalcidol or calcitriol) to counter the 1,25-diOH-vitamin D deficiency. Corrective surgeries for residual leg bowing at the end of growth are occasionally performed. In absence of consensus regarding indications of the treatment in adults, it is generally accepted that medical treatment should be reinitiated (or maintained) in symptomatic patients to reduce pain, which may be due to bone microfractures and/or osteomalacia. In addition to the conventional treatment, optimal care of symptomatic patients requires pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of pain and joint stiffness, through appropriated rehabilitation. Much attention should be given to the dental and periodontal manifestations of HR. Besides vitamin D analogs and phosphate supplements that improve tooth mineralization, rigorous oral hygiene, active endodontic treatment of root abscesses and preventive protection of teeth surfaces are recommended. Current outcomes of this therapy are still not optimal, and therapies targeting the pathophysiology of the disease, i.e. FGF23 excess, are desirable. In this review, medical, dental, surgical, and contributions of various expertises to the treatment of HR are described, with an effort to highlight the importance of coordinated care.
PMCID: PMC3959730  PMID: 24550322
calcium; bone; rare diseases/syndromes; X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets
14.  A novel de novo mutation within PHEX gene in a young girl with hypophosphatemic rickets and review of literature 
X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) is the most common form of familial hypophosphatemic rickets and it is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the PHEX gene. Recently, a wide variety of PHEX gene defects in XLH have been revealed; these include missense mutations, nonsense mutations, splice site mutations, insertions, and deletions. Recently, we encountered a 2-year-9-month-old female with sporadic hypophosphatemic rickets. She underwent osteotomy, dental abscess was evident, and there was severe bowing of the legs. A low serum phosphorus level in combination with elevated serum alkaline phosphatase activity and normal serum calcium is suggestive of hypophosphatemic rickets. PHEX gene analysis revealed a splice acceptor site mutation, c.934-1G>T (IVS8-1G>T), at the intron8 and exon9 junction. To the best of our knowledge, this mutation is novel and has not been reported. The results of this study expand and improve our understanding of the clinical and molecular characteristics and the global pool of patients with sporadic hypophosphatemic rickets.
PMCID: PMC4049552  PMID: 24926462
Hunam PHEX protein; Mutation; Hypophospatemic rickets
15.  A Novel Nonsense Mutation in the DMP1 Gene Identified by a Genome-Wide Association Study Is Responsible for Inherited Rickets in Corriedale Sheep 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21739.
Inherited rickets of Corriedale sheep is characterized by decreased growth rate, thoracic lordosis and angular limb deformities. Previous outcross and backcross studies implicate inheritance as a simple autosomal recessive disorder. A genome wide association study was conducted using the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip on 20 related sheep comprising 17 affected and 3 carriers. A homozygous region of 125 consecutive single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci was identified in all affected sheep, covering a region of 6 Mb on ovine chromosome 6. Among 35 candidate genes in this region, the dentin matrix protein 1 gene (DMP1) was sequenced to reveal a nonsense mutation 250C/T on exon 6. This mutation introduced a stop codon (R145X) and could truncate C-terminal amino acids. Genotyping by PCR-RFLP for this mutation showed all 17 affected sheep were “T T” genotypes; the 3 carriers were “C T”; 24 phenotypically normal related sheep were either “C T” or “C C”; and 46 unrelated normal control sheep from other breeds were all “C C”. The other SNPs in DMP1 were not concordant with the disease and can all be ruled out as candidates. Previous research has shown that mutations in the DMP1 gene are responsible for autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets in humans. Dmp1_knockout mice exhibit rickets phenotypes. We believe the R145X mutation to be responsible for the inherited rickets found in Corriedale sheep. A simple diagnostic test can be designed to identify carriers with the defective “T” allele. Affected sheep could be used as animal models for this form of human rickets, and for further investigation of the role of DMP1 in phosphate homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3128599  PMID: 21747952
16.  Identification of Two Novel Mutations in the PHEX Gene in Chinese Patients with Hypophosphatemic Rickets/Osteomalacia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97830.
X-linked dominant hypophosphatemia (XLH) is the most prevalent form of inherited rickets/osteomalacia in humans. The aim of this study was to identify PHEX gene mutations and describe the clinical features observed in 6 unrelated Chinese families and 3 sporadic patients with hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia.
For this study, 45 individuals from 9 unrelated families of Chinese Han ethnicity (including 16 patients and 29 normal phenotype subjects), and 250 healthy donors were recruited. All 22 exons and exon-intron boundaries of the PHEX gene were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and directly sequenced.
The PHEX mutations were detected in 6 familial and 3 sporadic hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia. Altogether, 2 novel mutations were detected: 1 missense mutation c.1183G>C in exon 11, resulting in p.Gly395Arg and 1 missense mutation c.1751A>C in exon 17, resulting in p.His584Pro. No mutations were found in the 250 healthy controls.
Our study increases knowledge of the PHEX gene mutation types and clinical phenotypes found in Chinese patients with XLH, which is important for understanding the genetic basis of XLH. The molecular diagnosis of a PHEX genetic mutation is of great importance for confirming the clinical diagnosis of XLH, conducting genetic counseling, and facilitating prenatal intervention, especially in the case of sporadic patients.
PMCID: PMC4024000  PMID: 24836714
17.  Autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets is linked to chromosome 12p13. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(11):2653-2657.
Autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR) is an inherited disorder of isolated renal phosphate wasting, the pathogenesis of which is unknown. We performed a genome-wide linkage study in a large kindred to determine the chromosome location of the ADHR gene. Two-point LOD scores indicate that the gene is linked to the markers D12S314 [Z(theta) = 3.15 at theta = 0.0], vWf [Z(theta) = 5.32 at theta = 0.0], and CD4 [Z(theta) = 3.53 at theta = 0.0]. Moreover, multilocus analysis indicates that the ADHR gene locus is located on chromosome 12p13 in the 18-cM interval between the flanking markers D12S100 and D12S397. These data are the first to establish a chromosomal location for the ADHR locus and to provide a framework map to further localize the gene. Such studies will permit ultimate identification of the ADHR gene and provide further insight into phosphate homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC508467  PMID: 9389727
18.  Coupling FGF23 Production and Cleavage: Iron Deficiency, Rickets and Kidney Disease 
Purpose of review
High levels of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) cause rare disorders of hypophosphatemic rickets and are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Despite major advances in understanding FGF23 biology, fundamental aspects of FGF23 regulation in health and in CKD remain mostly unknown.
Recent findings
Autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in FGF23 that prevent its proteolytic cleavage, but affected individuals experience a waxing and waning course of phosphate wasting. This led to the discovery that iron deficiency is an environmental trigger that stimulates FGF23 expression and hypophosphatemia in ADHR. Unlike osteocytes in ADHR, normal osteocytes couple increased FGF23 production with commensurately increased FGF23 cleavage to ensure that normal phosphate homeostasis is maintained in the event of iron deficiency. Simultaneous measurement of FGF23 by intact and C-terminal assays supported these breakthroughs by providing minimally invasive insight into FGF23 production and cleavage in bone. These findings also suggest a novel mechanism of FGF23 elevation in patients with CKD, who are often iron deficient and demonstrate increased FGF23 production and decreased FGF23 cleavage, consistent with an acquired state that mimics the molecular pathophysiology of ADHR.
Iron deficiency stimulates FGF23 production, but normal osteocytes couple increased FGF23 production with increased cleavage to maintain normal circulating levels of biologically active hormone. These findings uncover a second level of FGF23 regulation within osteocytes, failure of which culminates in elevated levels of biologically active FGF23 in ADHR and perhaps CKD.
PMCID: PMC4322859  PMID: 24867675
FGF23; iron; iron deficiency; phosphate; osteocyte; rickets; ADHR; CKD
19.  Successful Medical Therapy for Hypophosphatemic Rickets due to Mitochondrial Complex I Deficiency Induced de Toni-Debré-Fanconi Syndrome 
Case Reports in Pediatrics  2013;2013:354314.
Primary de Toni-Debré-Fanconi syndrome is a non-FGF23-mediated hypophosphatemic disorder due to a primary defect in renal proximal tubule cell function resulting in hyperphosphaturia, renal tubular acidosis, glycosuria, and generalized aminoaciduria. The orthopaedic sequela and response to treatment of this rare disorder are limited in the literature. Herein we report a long term followup of a 10-year-old female presenting at 1 year of age with rickets initially misdiagnosed as vitamin D deficiency rickets. She was referred to the metabolic bone and genetics clinics at 5 years of age with severe genu valgum deformities of 24 degrees and worsening rickets. She had polyuria, polydipsia, enuresis, and bone pain. Diagnosis of hypophosphatemic rickets due to de Toni-Debré-Fanconi syndrome was subsequently made. Respiratory chain enzyme analysis identified a complex I mitochondrial deficiency as the underlying cause. She was treated with phosphate (50–70 mg/kg/day), calcitriol (30 ng/kg/day), and sodium citrate with resolution of bone pain and normal growth. By 10 years of age, her genu valgus deformities were 4 degrees with healing of rickets. Her excellent orthopaedic outcome despite late proper medical therapy is likely due to the intrinsic renal tubular defect that is more responsive to combined alkali, phosphate, and calcitriol therapy.
PMCID: PMC3872385  PMID: 24386581
20.  Increased renal catabolism of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in murine X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1988;81(2):461-465.
The hypophosphatemic (Hyp) mouse, a murine homologue of human X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, is characterized by renal defects in brush border membrane phosphate transport and vitamin D3 metabolism. The present study was undertaken to examine whether elevated renal 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase activity in Hyp mice is associated with increased degradation of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] by side chain oxidation. Metabolites of 1,25(OH)2D3 were separated by HPLC on Zorbax SIL and identified by comparison with standards authenticated by mass spectrometry. Production of 1,24,25-trihydroxyvitamin D3, 24-oxo-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, and 24-oxo-1,23,25-trihydroxyvitamin D3 was twofold greater in mitochondria from mutant Hyp/Y mice than from normal +/Y littermates. Enzyme activities, estimated by the sum of the three products synthesized per milligram mitochondrial protein under initial rate conditions, were used to estimate kinetic parameters. The apparent Vmax was significantly greater for mitochondria from Hyp/Y mice than from +/Y mice (0.607 +/- 0.064 vs. 0.290 +/- 0.011 pmol/mg per protein per min, mean +/- SEM, P less than 0.001), whereas the apparent Michaelis-Menten constant (Km) was similar in both genotypes (23 +/- 2 vs. 17 +/- 5 nM). The Km for 1,25(OH)2D3 was approximately 10-fold lower than that for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3], indicating that 1,25(OH)2D3 is perhaps the preferred substrate under physiological conditions. In both genotypes, apparent Vmax for 25(OH)D3 was fourfold greater than that for 1,25(OH)2D3, suggesting that side chain oxidation of 25(OH)D3 may operate at pharmacological concentrations of substrate. The present results demonstrate that Hyp mice exhibit increased renal catabolism of 1,25(OH)2D3 and suggest that elevated degradation of vitamin D3 hormone may contribute significantly to the clinical phenotype in this disorder.
PMCID: PMC329592  PMID: 3339128
21.  The Wrickkened Pathways Of FGF23, MEPE and PHEX 
The last 350 years since the publication of the first medical monograph on rickets (old English term wrickken) (Glisson et al., 1651) have seen spectacular advances in our understanding of mineral-homeostasis. Seminal and exciting discoveries have revealed the roles of PTH, vitamin D, and calcitonin in regulating calcium and phosphate, and maintaining healthy teeth and skeleton. However, it is clear that the PTH/Vitamin D axis does not account for the entire picture, and a new bone-renal metabolic milieu has emerged, implicating a novel set of matrix proteins, hormones, and Zn-metallopeptidases. The primary defects in X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (HYP) and autosomal-dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR) are now identified as inactivating mutations in a Zn-metalloendopeptidase (PHEX) and activating mutations in fibroblast-growth-factor-23 (FGF23), respectively. In oncogenic hypophosphatemic osteomalacia (OHO), several tumor-expressed proteins (MEPE, FGF23, and FRP-4) have emerged as candidate mediators of the bone-renal pathophysiology. This has stimulated the proposal of a global model that takes into account the remarkable similarities between the inherited diseases (HYP and ADHR) and the tumor-acquired disease OHO. In HYP, loss of PHEX function is proposed to result in an increase in uncleaved full-length FGF23 and/or inappropriate processing of MEPE. In ADHR, a mutation in FGF23 results in resistance to proteolysis by PHEX or other proteases and an increase in half-life of full-length phosphaturic FGF23. In OHO, over-expression of FGF23 and/or MEPE is proposed to result in abnormal renal-phosphate handling and mineralization. Although this model is attractive, many questions remain unanswered, suggesting a more complex picture. The following review will present a global hypothesis that attempts to explain the experimental and clinical observations in HYP, ADHR, and OHO, plus diverse mouse models that include the MEPE null mutant, HYP-PHEX transgenic mouse, and MEPE-PHEX double-null-mutant.
PMCID: PMC3361894  PMID: 15470265
PHEX; MEPE; FGF23; mineralization; hypophosphatemia; phosphaturic; osteomalacia; rickets
22.  Dentin Noncollagenous Matrix Proteins in Familial Hypophosphatemic Rickets 
Cells, Tissues, Organs  2008;189(1-4):219-223.
Familial hypophosphatemic rickets is transmitted in most cases as an X-linked dominant trait and results from the mutation of the PHEX gene predominantly expressed in osteoblast and odontoblast. Patients with rickets have been reported to display important dentin defects. Our purpose was to explore the structure, composition and distribution of noncollagenous proteins (NCPs) of hypophosphatemic dentin. We collected teeth from 10 hypophosphatemic patients whose mineralization occurred either in a hypophosphatemic environment or in a corrected phosphate and vitamin environment. Teeth were examined by scanning electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. An abnormal distribution (accumulation in interglobular spaces) and cleavage of the NCPs and particularly of matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein were observed in deciduous dentin. In contrast, it was close to normal in permanent dentin mineralized under corrected conditions. In conclusion, dentin mineralization in a corrected phosphate and vitamin D environment compensates the adverse effect of PHEX mutation.
PMCID: PMC3352030  PMID: 18701809
Hypophosphatemic rickets; Dentin; Mineralization; Noncollagenous proteins; Matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein
23.  Dentin Noncollagenous Matrix Proteins in Familial Hypophosphatemic Rickets 
Cells, Tissues, Organs  2008;189(1-4):219-223.
Familial hypophosphatemic rickets is transmitted in most cases as an X-linked dominant trait and results from the mutation of the PHEX gene predominantly expressed in osteoblast and odontoblast. Patients with rickets have been reported to display important dentin defects. Our purpose was to explore the structure, composition and distribution of noncollagenous proteins (NCPs) of hypophosphatemic dentin. We collected teeth from 10 hypophosphatemic patients whose mineralization occurred either in a hypophosphatemic environment or in a corrected phosphate and vitamin environment. Teeth were examined by scanning electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. An abnormal distribution (accumulation in interglobular spaces) and cleavage of the NCPs and particularly of matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein were observed in deciduous dentin. In contrast, it was close to normal in permanent dentin mineralized under corrected conditions. In conclusion, dentin mineralization in a corrected phosphate and vitamin D environment compensates the adverse effect of PHEX mutation.
PMCID: PMC3352030  PMID: 18701809
Hypophosphatemic rickets; Dentin; Mineralization; Noncollagenous proteins; Matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein
24.  Regulation of phosphate homeostasis by the phosphatonins and other novel mediators 
A variety of factors regulate the efficiency of phosphate absorption in the intestine and phosphate reabsorption in kidney. Apart from the well-known regulators of phosphate homeostasis, namely parathyroid hormone (PTH) and the vitamin D–endocrine system, a number of peptides collectively known as the “phosphatonins” have been recently identified as a result of the study of various diseases associated with hypophosphatemia. These factors, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (sFRP-4), fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF-7) and matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (MEPE), have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of various hypophosphatemic and hyperphosphatemic disorders, such as oncogenic osteomalacia, X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets, autosomal recessive hypophosphatemia and tumoral calcinosis. Whether these factors are true hormones, in the sense that they are regulated by the intake of dietary phosphorus and the needs of the organism for higher or lower amounts of phosphorus, remains to be firmly established in humans. Additionally, new information demonstrates that the intestine “senses” luminal concentrations of phosphate and regulates the excretion of phosphate in the kidney by elaborating novel factors that alter renal phosphate reabsorption.
PMCID: PMC2441591  PMID: 18288501
Phosphate; Vitamin D; Phosphatonins; PTH; Fibroblast growth factors
25.  P9 - A Novel Mutation of the PHEX Gene in a Family with Hypophosphataemic Rickets 
X-linked hypophosphataemic rickets/osteomalacia (XLH) is a inherited disorder of phosphate (Pi) homeostasis characterised by renal phosphate wasting and hypophosphataemia, with inappropriately normal to low 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 serum levels, normal serum concentration of calcium and bone deformity and rickets/osteomalacia. Mutations in the PHEX gene (Xp22.2-p22.1) are responsible for this disease. PHEX encodes an endopeptidase, which is a member of the M13Zn-metalloproteinase family, involved in the regulation of phosphate homeostasis. PHEX-inactivating mutations cause XLH. These mutations allow the accumulation of phosphaturic factors and/or mineralisation inhibitors.
In the present study we describe a 2-year-old boy referred to our centre exhibiting clinical features of a clear hypophosphataemia [2.3 mg/dl (n.v.: 2.7–4.5 )], normocalcaemia [9.3 mg/dl (n.v.:8.6–10.3)], normal PTH circulating levels [44.8 pg/ml (n.v.:12–72)], normal vitamin D values [32 mg/ml (n.v.: 30–60)] and high levels of alkaline phosphatase [1055 mU/ml (n.v: 247–645)]. He showed asthenia, muscle pain, bowed legs and cranial deformities. Due to the family history, XLH was suspected. His mother had been diagnosed with hypophosophataemic rickets and was of short stature and developed genu varum. A cousin and the grandfather of the mother were affected by hypophosphataemic rickets with skeletal deformities mainly of the legs.
Our patient’s parents were not consanguineous. The patient and his parents underwent PHEX mutational analysis after signing an informed consent form (in case of the patient, who is a minor, this was signed by his legal guardian). Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. The 22 exons and the intron-exon boundaries of PHEX were investigated by a PCR and direct-sequencing (ABI-Prism 3100) protocol. A novel mutation of PHEX was identified in exon 1 at codon 2, GAA>TAA, causing a nucleotide change (Glu to STOP). This nucleotide substitution has never previously been described in the PHEX database ( Finally, we are planning to use cellular models, both obtained from patients and engineered by transfection methods, in order to evaluate the functionality of the mutated gene. These approaches will be helpful to further understanding of the molecular mechanism of PHEX action and could provide a focus for future targeted therapies.
PMCID: PMC3213777

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