Background: Pseudovitamin D-deficiency rickets is characterized by the early onset of rickets with hypocalcemia and is thought to be caused by a deficit in renal 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1alpha-hydroxylase, the key enzyme for the synthesis of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.
Methods: We cloned human 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1alpha-hydroxylase complementary DNA (cDNA) using a mouse 1alpha-hydroxylase cDNA fragment as a probe. Its genomic structure was determined, and its chromosomal location was mapped by fluorescence in situ hybridization. We then identified mutations in the 1alpha-hydroxylase gene in four unrelated patients with pseudovitamin D-deficiency rickets by DNA-sequence analysis. Both the normal and the mutant 1alpha-hydroxylase proteins were expressed in COS-1 cells and were assayed for 1alpha-hydroxylase activity.
Results: The gene for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1alpha-hydroxylase was mapped to chromosome 12q13.3, which had previously been reported to be the locus for pseudovitamin D-deficiency rickets by linkage analysis. Four different homozygous missense mutations were detected in this gene in the four patients with pseudovitamin D-deficiency rickets. The unaffected parents and one sibling tested were heterozygous for the mutations. Functional analysis of the mutant 1alpha-hydroxylase protein revealed that all four mutations abolished 1alpha-hydroxylase activity.
Conclusions: Inactivating mutations in the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1alpha-hydroxylase gene are a cause of pseudovitamin D-deficiency rickets.