High-Phosphate Diet Improved the Skeletal Development of Fam20c-Deficient Mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • FAM20C (family with sequence similarity 20 - member C) is a protein kinase that phosphorylates secretory proteins, including the proteins that are essential to the formation and mineralization of calcified tissues. Previously, we reported that inactivation of Fam20c in mice led to hypophosphatemic rickets/osteomalacia along with increased circulating fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) levels and dental defects. In this study, we examined whether a high-phosphate (hPi) diet could rescue the skeletal defects in Fam20c-deficient mice. Fam20c conditional knockout (cKO) mice were generated by crossing female Fam20c-floxed mice (Fam20cfl/fl) with male Sox2-Cre;Fam20cfl/+ mice. The pregnant female Fam20cfi/fl mice were fed either a normal or hPi diet until the litters were weaned. The cKO and control offspring were continuously given a normal or hPi diet for 4 weeks after weaning. Plain X-ray radiography, micro-CT, histology, immunohistochemistry (FGF23, DMP1, OPN, and SOX9), and in situ hybridization (type II and type X collagen) analyses were performed to evaluate the effects of an hPi diet on the mouse skeleton. Plain X-ray radiography and micro-CT radiography analyses showed that the hPi diet improved the shape and mineral density of the Fam20c-deficient femurs/tibiae, and rescued the growth plate defects in the long bone. Histology analyses further demonstrated that an hPi diet nearly completely rescued the growth plate-widening defects in the long bone and restored the expanded hypertrophic zone to nearly normal width. These results suggested that the hPi diet significantly improved the skeletal development of the Fam20c-deficient mice, implying that hypophosphatemia partially contributed to the skeletal defects in Fam20c-deficient subjects.

published proceedings

  • Cells Tissues Organs

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, H., Li, L., Kesterke, M. J., Lu, Y., & Qin, C.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Hua||Li, Lili||Kesterke, Matthew J||Lu, Yongbo||Qin, Chunlin

publication date

  • January 2019