Serum factors from pseudoxanthoma elasticum patients alter elastic fiber formation in vitro

J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Jul;126(7):1497-505. doi: 10.1038/sj.jid.5700201. Epub 2006 Mar 16.


Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a heritable disorder mainly characterized by calcified elastic fibers in cutaneous, ocular, and vascular tissues. PXE is caused by mutations in ABCC6, a gene encoding an ABC transporter predominantly expressed in liver and kidneys. The functional relationship between ABCC6 and elastic fiber calcification is unknown. We speculated that ABCC6 deficiency in PXE patients induces a persistent imbalance in circulating metabolite(s), which may impair the synthetic abilities of normal elastoblasts or specifically alter elastic fiber assembly. Therefore, we compared the deposition of elastic fiber proteins in cultures of fibroblasts derived from PXE and unaffected individuals. PXE fibroblasts cultured with normal human serum expressed and deposited increased amounts of proteins, but structurally normal elastic fibers. Interestingly, normal and PXE fibroblasts as well as normal smooth muscle cells deposited abnormal aggregates of elastic fibers when maintained in the presence of serum from PXE patients. The expression of tropoelastin and other elastic fiber-associated genes was not significantly modulated by the presence of PXE serum. These results indicated that certain metabolites present in PXE sera interfered with the normal assembly of elastic fibers in vitro and suggested that PXE is a primary metabolic disorder with secondary connective tissue manifestations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Blood Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Cardiovascular System / pathology
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Connective Tissue / pathology
  • Connective Tissue / physiopathology
  • Elastic Tissue / chemistry
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • Eye / pathology
  • Eye / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / chemistry
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / blood
  • Metabolic Diseases / etiology
  • Metabolic Diseases / genetics
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / deficiency
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / physiology
  • Muscle, Smooth / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiopathology
  • Mutation
  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum / blood*
  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum / genetics
  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum / metabolism
  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum / physiopathology*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / physiopathology
  • Tropoelastin / genetics
  • Tropoelastin / physiology


  • ABCC6 protein, human
  • Blood Proteins
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Tropoelastin
  • Elastin