Hypophosphatasia: Nature’s window on alkaline phosphatase function in humans

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Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was discovered by Robert Robison, PhD, in 1923. During the next decade, he and his coworkers would advance his hypothesis that this phosphomonoester phosphohydrolase functioned importantly in skeletal calcification, emphasizing the liberation of inorganic phosphate (Pi), perhaps from a hexosephosphoric ester substrate. Liberation of Pi to bind with calcium (Ca++) would allow for hydroxyapatite crystal formation and growth. However, by 1932 Robison had concluded that some additional unknown factor conditioned this process. As I will review, this proved to be the ALP natural substrate and inhibitor of biomineralization, inorganic pyrophosphate.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrinciples of Bone Biology
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780128148419
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Asfotase alfa
  • Calcification
  • Enzyme replacement
  • Epilepsy
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Hypophosphatasia
  • Inborn error of metabolism
  • Inorganic phosphate
  • Inorganic pyrophosphate
  • Mineralization
  • Osteomalacia
  • Phosphomonoester phosphohydrolase
  • Pyridoxal phosphate
  • Pyrophosphatase
  • Rickets
  • Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase Vitamin B

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