Background: Epidemiologic studies suggest that genetic factors confer a predisposition to the formation of renal calcium stones or bone demineralization. Low serum phosphate concentrations due to a decrease in renal phosphate reabsorption have been reported in some patients with these conditions, suggesting that genetic factors leading to a decrease in renal phosphate reabsorption may contribute to them. We hypothesized that mutations in the gene coding for the main renal sodium-phosphate cotransporter (NPT2a) may be present in patients with these disorders.
Methods: We studied 20 patients with urolithiasis or bone demineralization and persistent idiopathic hypophosphatemia associated with a decrease in maximal renal phosphate reabsorption. The coding region of the gene for NPT2a was sequenced in all patients. The functional consequences of the mutations identified were analyzed by expressing the mutated RNA in Xenopus laevis oocytes.
Results: Two patients, one with recurrent urolithiasis and one with bone demineralization, were heterozygous for two distinct mutations. One mutation resulted in the substitution of phenylalanine for alanine at position 48, and the other in a substitution of methionine for valine at position 147. Phosphate-induced current and sodium-dependent phosphate uptake were impaired in oocytes expressing the mutant NPT2a. Coinjection of oocytes with wild-type and mutant RNA indicated that the mutant protein had altered function.
Conclusions: Heterozygous mutations in the NPT2a gene may be responsible for hypophosphatemia and urinary phosphate loss in persons with urolithiasis or bone demineralization.
Copyright 2002 Massachusetts Medical Society