A novel domain-specific mutation in a sclerosteosis patient suggests a role of LRP4 as an anchor for sclerostin in human bone
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
New York, N.Y.
Journal of bone and mineral research. - New York, N.Y.
, p. 874-881
University of Antwerp
Mutations in the LRP4 gene, coding for a Wnt signaling coreceptor, have been found to cause several allelic conditions. Among these, two are characterized by a strong skeletal involvement, namely sclerosteosis and Cenani-Lenz syndrome. In this work, we evaluated the role of LRP4 in the pathophysiology of these diseases. First, we report a novel LRP4 mutation, leading to the substitution of arginine at position 1170 in glutamine, identified in a patient with sclerosteosis. This mutation is located in the central cavity of the third β-propeller domain, which is in line with two other sclerosteosis mutations we previously described. Reporter assays demonstrate that this mutation leads to impaired sclerostin inhibition of Wnt signaling. Moreover, we compared the effect of this novel variant to mutations causing Cenani-Lenz syndrome and show that impaired membrane trafficking of the LRP4 protein is the likely mechanism underlying Cenani-Lenz syndrome. This is in contrast to sclerosteosis mutations, previously shown to impair the binding between LRP4 and sclerostin. In addition, to better understand the biology of LRP4, we investigated the circulating sclerostin levels in the serum of a patient suffering from sclerosteosis owing to a LRP4 mutation. We demonstrate that impaired sclerostin binding to the mutated LRP4 protein leads to dramatic increase in circulating sclerostin in this patient. With this study, we provide the first evidence suggesting that LRP4 is responsible for the retention of sclerostin in the bone environment in humans. These findings raise potential concerns about the utility of determining circulating sclerostin levels as a marker for other bone-related parameters. Although more studies are needed to fully understand the mechanism whereby LRP4 facilitates sclerostin action, it is clear that this protein represents a potent target for future osteoporosis therapies and an interesting alternative for the antisclerostin treatment currently under study.