Calcium-sensing-related gene mutations in hypercalcaemic hypocalciuric patients as differential diagnosis from primary hyperparathyroidism: detection of two novel inactivating mutations in an Italian population

Piero Stratta, Guido Merlotti, Claudio Musetti, Marco Quaglia, Alessia Pagani, Cristina Izzo, Elisabetta Radin, Andrea Airoldi, Filomena Baorda, Teresa Palladino, Maria Pia Leone, Vito Guarnieri
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2014, 29 (10): 1902-9

BACKGROUND: Inactivating mutations of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR), of the G-protein subunit α11 (GNA11) and of the adaptor-related protein complex 2, sigma 1 subunit (AP2S1) genes are responsible for familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH). The aim of this study was to analyse prevalence and pathogenicity of CaSR, GNA11 and AP2S1 mutations in patients with an FHH phenotype and to compare them with a sample of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in order to identify the most useful laboratory parameter for a differential diagnosis.

METHODS: Patients with an FHH phenotype were studied with polymerase chain reaction amplification and direct sequencing of the entire CaSR, GNA11 and AP2S1 coding sequences. Novel mutations were introduced in a Myc-tagged human wild-type (WT) CaSR cDNA-expressing vector, and functional assay was performed on human embryonic kidney cells evaluating expression and function of mutated proteins.

RESULTS: Among 16 FHH patients, none had an inactivating GNA11 or AP2S1 mutation while 3 (18.8%) carried a CaSR mutation and 10 (62.5%) at least one CaSR polymorphism. Within the latter group, 7 of 10 patients had more than one polymorphism (4.1 ± 2.1 per patient). Two novel CaSR mutations [c.2120A>T (E707V) and c.2320G>A (G774S)] were identified: the E707V mutation prevented CaSR expression (western blot), whereas the G774S mutation determined a reduced receptor sensitivity to calcium (IP3 assay). PHPT patients showed significantly (P < 0.001) higher serum calcium, parathyroid hormone, urinary calcium and calcium-creatinine clearance ratio (CCCR) and significantly lower serum phosphate than FHH ones.

CONCLUSIONS: FHH should be clearly differentiated by PHPT to avoid unnecessary surgery: CCCR could be a useful screening tool while genetic analysis should include the two novel CaSR mutations herein described. The role of multiple polymorphisms deserves further investigation in patients with an FHH phenotype.

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