Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36596813
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41598-022-25995-5
Sci Rep 2023 Jan; 13(1): 85
Biallelic pathogenic variants in the SLC34A3 gene, encoding for the NPT2c cotransporter, cause Hereditary Hypophosphatemic Rickets with Hypercalciuria (HHRH). However, the associated phenotype is highly variable. In addition, mice deleted for Slc34a3 exhibit a different phenotype compared to humans, without urinary phosphate leakage. The mechanisms by which SLC34A3 variants disrupt phosphate/calcium metabolism are un-completely understood. In this study we explored these mechanisms in vitro using SLC34A3 variants identified in patients with urinary phosphate leakage. We analyzed the consequences of these variants on NPT2c function and the link with the phenotype of the patients. We studied 20 patients with recurrent nephrolithiasis and low serum phosphate concentration harboring variants in the SLC34A3 gene. Half of the patients carried homozygous or composite heterozygous variants. Three patients had in addition variants in SLC34A1 and SLC9A3R1 genes. All these patients benefited from a precise analysis of their phenotype. We generated 13 of these mutants by site-directed mutagenesis. Then we carried out transient transfections of these mutants in HEK cells and measured their phosphate uptake capacity under different conditions. Among the 20 patients included, 3 had not only mutations in NPT2c but also in NPT2a or NHERF1 genes. Phosphate uptake was decreased in 8 NPT2c mutants studied and normal for 5. Four variants were initially categorized as variants of uncertain significance. Expression of the corresponding mutants showed that one did not modify phosphate transport, two reduced it moderately and one abolished it. Co-transfection of the NPT2c mutants with the wild-type plasmid of NPT2c or NPT2a did not reveal dominant negative effect of the mutants on NPT2c-mediated phosphate transport. A detailed analysis of patient phenotypes did not find a link between the severity of the disorder and the level of phosphate transport impairment. NPT2c mutations classified as ACMG3 identified in patients with renal phosphate leak should be characterized by in vitro study to check if they alter NPT2c-mediated phosphate transport since phosphate uptake capacity may not be affected. In addition, research for mutations in NHERF1 and NPT2a genes should always be associated to NPT2c sequencing.