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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Sep;97(9):2947-56. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2142. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Parathyroid hormone-related protein: an update.

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Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, TAC S131, Box 208020, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8020, USA.


PTHrP was identified as a cause of hypercalcemia in cancer patients 25 yr ago. In the intervening years, we have learned that PTHrP and PTH are encoded by related genes that are part of a larger "PTH gene family." This evolutionary relationship permits them to bind to the same type 1 PTH/PTHrP receptor, which explains why humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy resembles hyperparathyroidism. This review will outline basic facts about PTHrP biology and its normal physiological functions, with an emphasis on new findings of the past 5-10 yr. The medical and research communities first became aware of PTHrP because of its involvement in a common paraneoplastic syndrome. Now, research into the basic biology of PTHrP has suggested previously unrecognized connections to a variety of disease states such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and breast cancer and has highlighted how PTHrP itself might be used in therapy for osteoporosis and diabetes. Therefore, the story of this remarkable protein is a paradigm for translational research, having gone from bedside to bench and now back to bedside.

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