Regulation of Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 by Iron, EPO, and HIF

Curr Mol Biol Rep. 2019 Mar;5(1):8-17. doi: 10.1007/s40610-019-0110-9. Epub 2019 Jan 25.


Purpose of review: Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is the key hormone produced in bone critical for phosphate homeostasis. Elevated serum phosphorus and 1,25dihydroxyvitaminD stimulates FGF23 production to promote renal phosphate excretion and decrease 1,25dihydroxyvitaminD synthesis. Thus completing the feedback loop and suppressing FGF23. Unexpectedly, studies of common and rare heritable disorders of phosphate handling identified links between iron and FGF23 demonstrating novel regulation outside the phosphate pathway.

Recent findings: Iron deficiency combined with an FGF23 cleavage mutation was found to induce the autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets phenotype. Physiological responses to iron deficiency, such as erythropoietin production as well as hypoxia inducible factor activation, have been indicated in regulating FGF23. Additionally, specific iron formulations, used to treat iron deficiency, alter post-translational processing thereby shifting FGF23 protein secretion.

Summary: Molecular and clinical studies revealed that iron deficiency, through several mechanisms, alters FGF23 at the transcriptional and post-translational level. This review will focus upon the novel discoveries elucidated between iron, its regulators, and their influence on FGF23 bioactivity.

Keywords: FGF-23; erythropoietin; hypoxia-inducible factor; iron; phosphate.