JOURNAL ARTICLE

Association of VDBP rs4701 Variant, but not VDR/RXR -α Over-Expression with Bone Mineral Density in Pediatric Well-Chelated β-Thalassemia Patients

Shaimaa Sahmoud, Mostafa S Ibrahim, Eman A Toraih, Noha Kamel, Manal S Fawzy, Samar Elfiky
Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases 2020, 12 (1): e2020037
32670515

Background: The reduced rate of bone formation despite the availability of vitamin D has been reported in β-thalassemia. Genetic factors, together with environmental ones, could be implicated in this condition. Since vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) maintains bioavailability of vitamin D which binds to vitamin D receptor (VDR)-retinoid X receptor alpha (RXRA) heterodimer to exert its molecular actions, we speculated that vitamin D metabolic-axis expression signature and variants could be potential molecular candidates for bone turnover/disease in thalassemia. To this end, this study aims to analyze VDR / RXRA expression signature, and two VDBP variants in a pilot sample of Egyptian β-thalassemia children in correlation with bone mineral density (BMD).

Patients and methods: Forty-four well-chelated β-thalassemia children and 40 unrelated controls were enrolled. The serum bone chemistry profile was measured. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMN) VDR / RXRA expression levels were quantified by Real-Time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). VDBP rs7041 and rs4588 variants were identified by Real-Time allelic discrimination assay. All patients were subjected to lumbar-spine Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).

Results: VDR / RXRA expressions were significantly higher in β-thalassemia children compared to controls ( P = 0.001 and <0.001, respectively) and showed higher values in β-thalassemia major relative to β-thalassemia intermedia. Expression levels of both genes were not associated with sex or BMD. However, VDBP rs4701 genotyping revealed lower BMD-L4 and a higher frequency of osteoporosis.

Conclusions: β-Thalassemia children had higher expression levels of PBMN VDR / RXRA . VDBP rs4701 variant was associated with osteoporosis in our β-thalassemia patients on vitamin D supplementation. Further large-scale studies in other ethnic populations are warranted.

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