J Bone Miner Res 2016 Mar 6;31(3):640-9. Epub 2015 Oct 6.
Musculoskeletal Research Unit, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK.
High bone mass (HBM) can be an incidental clinical finding; however, monogenic HBM disorders (eg, LRP5 or SOST mutations) are rare. We aimed to determine to what extent HBM is explained by mutations in known HBM genes. A total of 258 unrelated HBM cases were identified from a review of 335,115 DXA scans from 13 UK centers. Cases were assessed clinically and underwent sequencing of known anabolic HBM loci: LRP5 (exons 2, 3, 4), LRP4 (exons 25, 26), SOST (exons 1, 2, and the van Buchem's disease [VBD] 52-kb intronic deletion 3'). Family members were assessed for HBM segregation with identified variants. Three-dimensional protein models were constructed for identified variants. Two novel missense LRP5 HBM mutations ([c.518C>T; p.Thr173Met], [c.796C>T; p.Arg266Cys]) were identified, plus three previously reported missense LRP5 mutations ([c.593A>G; p.Asn198Ser], [c.724G>A; p.Ala242Thr], [c.266A>G; p.Gln89Arg]), associated with HBM in 11 adults from seven families. Individuals with LRP5 HBM (∼prevalence 5/100,000) displayed a variable phenotype of skeletal dysplasia with increased trabecular BMD and cortical thickness on HRpQCT, and gynoid fat mass accumulation on DXA, compared with both non-LRP5 HBM and controls. One mostly asymptomatic woman carried a novel heterozygous nonsense SOST mutation (c.530C>A; p.Ser177X) predicted to prematurely truncate sclerostin. Protein modeling suggests the severity of the LRP5-HBM phenotype corresponds to the degree of protein disruption and the consequent effect on SOST-LRP5 binding. We predict p.Asn198Ser and p.Ala242Thr directly disrupt SOST binding; both correspond to severe HBM phenotypes (BMD Z-scores +3.1 to +12.2, inability to float). Less disruptive structural alterations predicted from p.Arg266Cys, p.Thr173Met, and p.Gln89Arg were associated with less severe phenotypes (Z-scores +2.4 to +6.2, ability to float). In conclusion, although mutations in known HBM loci may be asymptomatic, they only account for a very small proportion (∼3%) of HBM individuals, suggesting the great majority are explained by either unknown monogenic causes or polygenic inheritance.