JOURNAL ARTICLE

Genetic evidence of serum phosphate-independent functions of FGF-23 on bone

Despina Sitara, Somi Kim, Mohammed S Razzaque, Clemens Bergwitz, Takashi Taguchi, Christiane Schüler, Reinhold G Erben, Beate Lanske
PLoS Genetics 2008 August 8, 4 (8): e1000154
18688277
Maintenance of physiologic phosphate balance is of crucial biological importance, as it is fundamental to cellular function, energy metabolism, and skeletal mineralization. Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) is a master regulator of phosphate homeostasis, but the molecular mechanism of such regulation is not yet completely understood. Targeted disruption of the Fgf-23 gene in mice (Fgf-23-/-) elicits hyperphosphatemia, and an increase in renal sodium/phosphate co-transporter 2a (NaPi2a) protein abundance. To elucidate the pathophysiological role of augmented renal proximal tubular expression of NaPi2a in Fgf-23-/- mice and to examine serum phosphate-independent functions of Fgf23 in bone, we generated a new mouse line deficient in both Fgf-23 and NaPi2a genes, and determined the effect of genomic ablation of NaPi2a from Fgf-23-/- mice on phosphate homeostasis and skeletal mineralization. Fgf-23-/-/NaPi2a-/- double mutant mice are viable and exhibit normal physical activities when compared to Fgf-23-/- animals. Biochemical analyses show that ablation of NaPi2a from Fgf-23-/- mice reversed hyperphosphatemia to hypophosphatemia by 6 weeks of age. Surprisingly, despite the complete reversal of serum phosphate levels in Fgf-23-/-/NaPi2a-/-, their skeletal phenotype still resembles the one of Fgf23-/- animals. The results of this study provide the first genetic evidence of an in vivo pathologic role of NaPi2a in regulating abnormal phosphate homeostasis in Fgf-23-/- mice by deletion of both NaPi2a and Fgf-23 genes in the same animal. The persistence of the skeletal anomalies in double mutants suggests that Fgf-23 affects bone mineralization independently of systemic phosphate homeostasis. Finally, our data support (1) that regulation of phosphate homeostasis is a systemic effect of Fgf-23, while (2) skeletal mineralization and chondrocyte differentiation appear to be effects of Fgf-23 that are independent of phosphate homeostasis.

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