Impaired phosphate transport in SLC34A2 variants in patients with pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis

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Background: Variants in SLC34A2 encoding the sodium-dependent phosphate transport protein 2b (NaPi-IIb) cause the rare lung disease pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis (PAM). PAM is characterised by the deposition of calcium-phosphate concretions in the alveoli usually progressing over time. No effective treatment is available. So far, 30 allelic variants in patients have been reported but only a few have been functionally characterised. This study aimed to determine the impact of selected SLC34A2 variants on transporter expression and phosphate uptake in cellular studies. Methods: Two nonsense variants (c.910A > T and c.1456C > T), one frameshift (c.1328delT), and one in-frame deletion (c.1402_1404delACC) previously reported in patients with PAM were selected for investigation. Wild-type and mutant c-Myc-tagged human NaPi-IIb constructs were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The transport function was investigated with a 32Pi uptake assay. NaPi-IIb protein expression and localisation were determined with immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Results: Oocytes injected with the wild-type human NaPi-IIb construct had significant 32Pi transport compared to water-injected oocytes. In addition, the protein had a molecular weight as expected for the glycosylated form, and it was readily detectable in the oocyte membrane. Although the protein from the Thr468del construct was synthesised and expressed in the oocyte membrane, phosphate transport was similar to non-injected control oocytes. All other mutants were non-functional and not expressed in the membrane, consistent with the expected impact of the truncations caused by premature stop codons. Conclusions: Of four analysed SLC34A2 variants, only the Thr468del showed similar protein expression as the wild-type cotransporter in the oocyte membrane. All mutant transporters were non-functional, supporting that dysfunction of NaPi-IIb underlies the pathology of PAM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalHuman Genomics
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • In-frame deletion, frameshift variant, nonsense variant, Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis (PAM), SLC34A2, SLC34A2 mutations, SLC34A2 variants, Sodium-dependent phosphate transport protein 2B, NaPi-2b, Sodium-dependent phosphate transport protein 2B, NaPi-IIb, Xenopus laevis oocytes

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