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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018 May 1;33(5):759-770. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfx284.

Evidence for a role of PDZ domain-containing proteins to mediate hypophosphatemia in calcium stone formers.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Litholink Corporation, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Chicago, IL, USA.



Hypophosphatemia (HYP) is common among calcium stone formers (SFs) and in rare cases is associated with mutations in sodium-phosphate cotransporters or in Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1), but the majority of cases are unexplained. We hypothesized that reduced sodium-phosphate cotransporter activity mediated via NHERF1 or a similar PDZ domain-containing protein, causes HYP. If so, other transport activities controlled by NHERF1, such as NHE3 and URAT1, might be reduced in HYP.


To test this idea, we analyzed two large but separate sets of 24-h urine samples and paired serums of 2700 SFs from the University of Chicago and 11‚ÄČ073 SFs from Litholink, a national laboratory. Patients were divided into quintiles based on serum phosphate.


Males were more common in the lowest phosphate tiles in both datasets. Phosphate excretion did not vary across the quintiles, excluding diet as a cause of HYP. Tubule maximum (Tm) phosphate per unit glomerular filtration rate decreased and fractional excretion increased with decreasing phosphate quintiles, indicating reduced tubule phosphate reabsorption was responsible for HYP. Urine pH and serum chloride increased with decreasing serum phosphate, suggesting a coordinate change in NHE3 activity. Serum uric acid and Tm uric acid decreased significantly with decreasing serum phosphate, while uric acid excretion did not vary. Conclusion. HYP in SFs results from decreased tubule phosphate reabsorption and, being associated with related changes in other proximal tubule transporters, may arise from alterations in or signaling to PDZ-containing proteins.


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