PLS3 sequencing in childhood-onset primary osteoporosis identifies two novel disease-causing variants

Osteoporos Int. 2017 Oct;28(10):3023-3032. doi: 10.1007/s00198-017-4150-9. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Altogether 95 children with primary bone fragility were screened for variants in PLS3, the gene underlying X-linked osteoporosis. Two children with multiple peripheral and spinal fractures and low BMD had novel disease-causing PLS3 variants. Children with milder phenotypes had no pathogenic variants. PLS3 screening is indicated in childhood-onset primary osteoporosis.

Introduction: The study aimed to determine the role of pathogenic PLS3 variants in children's bone fragility and to elucidate the associated phenotypic features.

Methods: Two cohorts of children with bone fragility were screened for variants in PLS3, the gene underlying X-linked osteoporosis. Cohort I comprised 31 patients with childhood-onset primary osteoporosis of unknown etiology. Cohort II comprised 64 children who had sustained multiple fractures but were otherwise healthy. Clinical and radiological data were reviewed. Peripheral blood DNA was Sanger sequenced for coding exons and flanking intronic regions of PLS3.

Results: In two patients of cohort I, where other common genetic causes had been excluded, we identified two novel disease-causing PLS3 variants. Patient 1 was a male with bilateral femoral fractures at 10 years, low BMD (Z-score -4.1; 18 years), and multiple vertebral compression fractures. He had a novel nonsense variant in PLS3. Patient 2 was a girl with multiple long bone and vertebral fractures and low BMD (Z-score -6.6 at 6 years). She had a de novo missense variant in PLS3; whole exome sequencing and array-CGH identified no other genetic causes. Iliac crest bone biopsies confirmed low-turnover osteoporosis in both patients. In cohort II, no pathogenic PLS3 variants were identified in any of the subjects.

Conclusions: Two novel disease-causing variants in PLS3 were identified in a boy and a girl with multiple peripheral and spinal fractures and very low BMD while no pathogenic variants were identified in children with less severe skeletal fragility. PLS3 screening is warranted in male and female patients with childhood-onset primary osteoporosis.

Keywords: Children; Early-onset osteoporosis; Fractures; Osteogenesis imperfecta; Plastin 3; X-Linked osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Density
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exome Sequencing / methods
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Ilium / pathology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis / genetics*
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / genetics*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / pathology
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / physiopathology
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Radiography


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • plastin

Supplementary concepts

  • Juvenile osteoporosis