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Hum Genet. 1994 Nov;94(5):457-67.

Molecular biology of hypophosphataemic rickets and oncogenic osteomalacia.

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University College London, Dept. of Medicine, Middlesex Hospital, UK.


Phosphate plays a central role in many of the basic processes essential to the cell and organism. In particular, skeletal mineralisation is dependent on the appropriate regulation of phosphate in the body, and any disturbances in phosphate homeostasis can have severe repercussions on the integrity of bone. The kidney regulates the serum levels of phosphate by tubular mechanisms which are not fully understood. Furthermore, the processes involved in regulating renal tubular phosphate reabsorption are complex, and involve a large number of factors. It is not surprising therefore that defects in renal phosphate handling result in a failure of bone mineralisation. There are three well characterised conditions which are associated with renal tubulopathies resulting in a phosphate leak, with consequent bone disease. Two are familial, hypophosphataemic rickets (HYP), and hereditary hypophosphataemic rickets with hypercalciuria (HHRH). The third is acquired via a tumour, oncogenic hypophosphataemic osteomalacia (OHO), and may well have relevance to the inherited hypophosphataemias. Recent advances in molecular genetics are permitting the identification of genes involved in human diseases from their chromosomal location. These approaches are now being applied to the analysis of the hypophosphataemias. The isolation of the genes responsible for the renal tubulopathies will be an important achievement. Ultimately this will help to increase our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the control of phosphate handling in the body.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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