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LRP5 mutations in osteoporosis-pseudoglioma syndrome and high-bone-mass disorders.

The LDL receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) is a member of the LDL receptor family, which also includes the VLDL receptor and the apolipoprotein E receptor 2. The LRP5 is a co-receptor of Wnt located on the osteoblast membrane between two other receptors, Frizzled and Kremen. Frizzled and LRP5 bind to Wnt, thereby stabilizing beta-catenin and activating bone formation. When the dickkopf protein (Dkk) binds to Kremen and LRP5, this last undergoes internalization and therefore becomes unable to bind Wnt; this leads to degradation of beta-catenin and to inhibition of bone formation. In humans, loss of LRP5 function causes osteoporosis-pseudoglioma syndrome, which is characterized by congenital blindness and extremely severe childhood-onset osteoporosis (lumbar spine Z-score often < -4) with fractures. The G171V mutation prevents Dkk from binding to LRP5, thereby increasing LRP5 function; the result is high bone mass due to uncoupling of bone formation and resorption. The Z-scores in this condition can exceed +6 at the hip and spine. The LRP5 and Wnt/beta-catenin reflect the level of bone formation and play a central role in bone mass accrual and normal distribution. Furthermore, LRP5 may contribute to mediate mechanical loads within bone tissue. Identification of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is a breakthrough in the elucidation of pathophysiological mechanisms affecting bone tissue and suggests new treatment targets for patients with osteoporosis or specific malignant conditions such as myeloma and sclerotic bone metastases.

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