Genetics of Osteopetrosis

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2018 Feb;16(1):13-25. doi: 10.1007/s11914-018-0415-2.


Purpose of review: The term osteopetrosis refers to a group of rare skeletal diseases sharing the hallmark of a generalized increase in bone density owing to a defect in bone resorption. Osteopetrosis is clinically and genetically heterogeneous, and a precise molecular classification is relevant for prognosis and treatment. Here, we review recent data on the pathogenesis of this disorder.

Recent findings: Novel mutations in known genes as well as defects in new genes have been recently reported, further expanding the spectrum of molecular defects leading to osteopetrosis. Exploitation of next-generation sequencing tools is ever spreading, facilitating differential diagnosis. Some complex phenotypes in which osteopetrosis is accompanied by additional clinical features have received a molecular classification, also involving new genes. Moreover, novel types of mutations have been recognized, which for their nature or genomic location are at high risk being neglected. Yet, the causative mutation is unknown in some patients, indicating that the genetics of osteopetrosis still deserves intense research efforts.

Keywords: Next-generation sequencing; Osteoclast; Osteopetrosis; Pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Osteopetrosis / genetics*
  • Osteopetrosis / physiopathology