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Gains made towards treatment of rare bone disease
Date:2/20/2013

ng and leads to soft deformed bones such as bowed legs (or knock-knees) seen in toddlers.

While not life-threatening, this decreased mineralization of the skeleton (osteomalacia), along with the soft teeth, soon leads to a waddling gait, short stature, bone and muscle pain, weakness and spontaneous tooth abscesses.

The fact that these symptoms are only partially improved by the standard treatment with phosphate which improves circulating phosphate levels prompted the researchers to look for local factors within the bone that might be blocking mineralization in these patients.

"With this new identification of osteopontin as a substrate protein for PHEX," says Professor Barros, "we can begin to develop an enzyme-replacement therapy to treat XLH patients who have nonfunctional PHEX, much as has been done using a different enzyme to treat another rare bone disease called hypophosphatasia."


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Contact: Cynthia Lee
cynthia.lee@mcgill.ca
514-398-6754
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

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