Impaired cotranslational processing of the calcium-sensing receptor due to signal peptide missense mutations in familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia

Hum Mol Genet. 2005 Jun 15;14(12):1679-90. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddi176. Epub 2005 May 6.


The CASR, a cell surface glycoprotein expressed in parathyroid gland and kidney, is critical for maintaining extracellular calcium homeostasis. The inherited disorders, familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH) and neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT), are caused by inactivating mutations in the CASR gene. The CASR has an N-terminal, 19 amino acid signal peptide that is predicted to direct the nascent polypeptide chain, as it emerges from the ribosome, into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, we report the functional characterization of three CASR mutations identified in hypercalcemic/hyperparathyroid patients. The mutations, L11S, L13P and T14A, lie within the signal peptide hydrophobic core. When transiently transfected into kidney cells, L11S and L13P mutants demonstrated reduced intracellular and plasma membrane expression and signaling to the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in response to extracellular calcium relative to wild-type CASR and the T14A mutant. All mutant CASR RNAs translated into protein normally. In cotranslational processing assays, which test the functionality of the signal peptide in the early secretory pathway, the wild-type CASR and mutant T14A nascent polypeptides were targeted to microsomal vesicles, representing the ER, translocated into the vesicular lumen and underwent core N-glycosylation. In contrast, the L11S and L13P mutants failed to be inserted in the microsomes and undergo glycosylation. This is the first study examining the function of the CASR signal sequence and reveals that both L11S and L13P mutants are markedly impaired with respect to cotranslational processing, accounting for the observed parathyroid dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / genetics*
  • Hypercalcemia / metabolism*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / genetics*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / metabolism*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microsomes / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein Sorting Signals*
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing / genetics*
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transfection


  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Calcium