Context: Loss-of-function mutations of CYP24A1 (which encodes the 25-OH-D3-24-hydroxylase) have recently been reported to cause hypercalcemia.
Objectives: The aims of this study were: 1) to evaluate the frequency of CYP24A1 mutations in patients with medical history of hypercalcemia; 2) to show the clinical utility of a simultaneous assay of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH-D3) and 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (24,25-[OH]2D3) by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS); and 3) to investigate biochemical parameters in heterozygous gene carriers with CYP24A1 mutations.
Patients and methods: We screened for CYP24A1 mutations in 72 patients with serum calcium levels > 2.6 mmol/L and PTH levels < 20 pg/mL and recruited 24 relatives after genetic counseling for subsequent investigations. Vitamin D metabolite concentrations were assessed in a subset of patients by LC-MS/MS and results expressed as a ratio (R) of 25-OH-D3:24,25-(OH)2D3.
Results: Twenty-five patients with hypercalcemia (35%) harbored CYP24A1 variations. Twenty (28%) had biallelic variations, mostly found in subjects with nephrocalcinosis or renal stones (19/20). Five patients, all neonates, were heterozygous, without renal disease. We describe 15 new variations leading to loss-of-function according to pathogenicity prediction programs, and we functionally characterized 5 of them in vitro. A dramatic increase of R, usually >80, was found in patients harboring biallelic mutations providing evidence in vivo for the loss of CYP24A1 activity. In contrast, R value remains <25 in patients without CYP24A1 mutations. Subjects carrying one mutant allele, hypercalcemic individuals, as well as gene-carrier relatives, had a detectable 24,25-(OH)2D3 level and R < 25, indicating normal 24-hydroxylase activity.
Conclusion: CYP24A1 biallelic mutations are frequently found in patients presenting with hypercalcemia, low PTH, and renal disease. We confirm the accuracy and effectiveness of a novel blood test estimating the ratio between relevant vitamin D metabolites as a useful screening tool for CYP24A1 mutations. Haploinsufficiency is not associated with CYP24A1 deficiency.