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Seiji Fukumoto

FGF23 is a phosphaturic hormone produced by bone. FGF23 reduces serum phosphate by suppressing proximal tubular phosphate reabsorption and intestinal phosphate absorption. After the identification of FGF23, several kinds of hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia such as X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) and tumor-induced osteomalacia (TIO) have been shown to be caused by excessive actions of FGF23. Circulatory FGF23 is high in patients with these hypophosphatemic diseases while FGF23 is rather low in those with chronic hypophosphatemia from other causes such as vitamin D deficiency. These results indicate that FGF23 measurement is useful for the differential diagnosis of hypophosphatemia. Chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay for FGF23 has been approved for clinical use in Japan. The first choice treatment for patients with TIO is complete removal of responsible tumors. However, it is not always possible to find and completely remove responsible tumors. Phosphate and active vitamin D have been used for patients with hypophosphatemic diseases caused by excessive actions of FGF23 including TIO patients with unresectable tumors. However, these medications have limited effects and several adverse events. The inhibition of excessive FGF23 actions has been considered to be a novel therapy for these hypophosphatemic diseases. Human monoclonal antibody for FGF23, burosumab, has been shown to improve biochemical abnormalities, roentgenological signs of rickets, growth, fracture healing and impaired mineralization in patients with XLH. Burosumab has been approved in several countries including Europe, North America and Japan. Long-term effects of burosumab need to be addressed in future studies.

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Maria K Tsoumpra, Shun Sawatsubashi, Michihiro Imamura, Seiji Fukumoto, Shin’ichi Takeda, Toshio Matsumoto, and Yoshitsugu Aoki

The biologically active metabolite of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (VD3), exerts its tissue-specific actions through binding to its intracellular vitamin D receptor (VDR) which functions as a heterodimer with retinoid X receptor (RXR) to recognize vitamin D response elements (VDRE) and activate target genes. Upregulation of VDR in murine skeletal muscle cells occurs concomitantly with transcriptional regulation of key myogenic factors upon VD3 administration, reinforcing the notion that VD3 exerts beneficial effects on muscle. Herein we elucidated the regulatory role of VD3/VDR axis on the expression of dystrobrevin alpha (DTNA), a member of dystrophin-associated protein complex (DAPC). In C2C12 cells, Dtna and VDR gene and protein expression were upregulated by 1–50 nM of VD3 during all stages of myogenic differentiation. In the dystrophic-derived H2K-mdx52 cells, upregulation of DTNA by VD3 occurred upon co-transfection of VDR and RXR expression vectors. Silencing of MyoD1, an E-box binding myogenic transcription factor, did not alter the VD3-mediated Dtna induction, but Vdr silencing abolished this effect. We also demonstrated that VD3 administration enhanced the muscle-specific Dtna promoter activity in presence of VDR/RXR only. Through site-directed mutagenesis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we have validated a VDRE site in Dtna promoter in myogenic cells. We have thus proved that the positive regulation of Dtna by VD3 observed during in vitro murine myogenic differentiation is VDR mediated and specific. The current study reveals a novel mechanism of VDR-mediated regulation for Dtna, which may be positively explored in treatments aiming to stabilize the DAPC in musculoskeletal diseases.