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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Dec;89(12):6173-8.

A deletion polymorphism in the RIZ gene, a female sex steroid hormone receptor coactivator, exhibits decreased response to estrogen in vitro and associates with low bone mineral density in young Swedish women.

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Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.


Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a major risk factor for osteoporotic fracture, and the trait is under genetic control by a large number of genes. It is recognized that estrogen plays an important role in the maintenance of bone mass by binding to estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha). RIZ1 has previously been shown to be a specific ERalpha coactivator and strongly enhances its function both in vivo and in vitro. We performed in vitro studies comparing the abilities of RIZ1 P704 polymorphic variants (homozygous presence, P704+; absence, P704-; heterozygosity P704(+/-) of a proline at position 704) to coactivate the ERalpha and also examined the polymorphism associated to BMD of 343 Swedish women, aged 20-39 yr. The expression vector containing P704- RIZ1 showed an impaired response in coactivating ERalpha in a ligand- and dose-dependent manner compared with P704+ RIZ (P < 0.0001). The genotype frequencies were 19% (P704+), 32% (P704-), and 49% (P704(+/-)) and were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. BMD at the heel was higher in the P704+ genotype group than in the P704(+/-) group (P = 0.02), which was evident also after corrections for fat and lean mass (P = 0.03). We conclude that RIZ1 may be a new candidate gene for involvement in the variation seen in BMD.

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