Persistent idiopathic hyperphosphatasemia from bone alkaline phosphatase in a healthy boy

Michael P. Whyte, Nina S. Ma, Steven Mumm, Gary S. Gottesman, William H. McAlister, Angela R. Nenninger, Vinieth N. Bijanki, Karen L. Ericson, Per Magnusson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in humans comprises a family of four cell-surface phosphomonoester phosphohydrolase isozymes. Three genes separately encode the “tissue-specific” ALPs whereas the fourth gene encodes ubiquitous homodimeric “tissue-nonspecific” ALP (TNSALP) richly expressed in bone, liver, kidney, and developing teeth. TNSALP monomers have five putative N-linked glycosylation sites where different post-translational modifications account for this isozyme's distinctive physicochemical properties in different organs. Three bone-derived TNSALP (BALP) isoforms (B/I, B1, and B2) are present in healthy serum, whereas a fourth BALP isoform (B1x) can circulate in chronic kidney disease. Herein, we report a healthy boy with persistent hyperphosphatasemia due to BALP levels two- to threefold higher than age-appropriate reference values. High-performance liquid chromatography, electrophoresis, heat inactivation, catalysis inhibition, and polyethylene glycol precipitation revealed increased serum B/I, B1, and B2 differing from patterns found in skeletal diseases. B/I was ~23-fold elevated. Absence of mental retardation and physical stigmata excluded Mabry syndrome, the ALP-anchoring disorder causing hyperphosphatasemia. Routine biochemical studies indicated intact mineral homeostasis. Serum N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (P1NP) level was normal, but C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) level was elevated. However, radiological studies showed no evidence for a generalized skeletal disturbance. Circulating pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, a TNSALP natural substrate, was not low despite the laboratory hyperphosphatasemia, thereby suggesting BALP phosphohydrolase activity was not elevated endogenously. Mutation analysis of the ALPL gene encoding TNSALP revealed no defect. His non-consanguineous healthy parents had serum total ALP activity and BALP protein levels that were normal. Our patient's sporadic idiopathic hyperphosphatasemia could reflect altered post-translational modification together with increased expression and/or impaired degradation of BALP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115459
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • ALPL gene
  • Bone
  • Enzymopathy
  • Hypophosphatasia
  • Isoenzyme
  • Isoform
  • Isozyme
  • Mabry syndrome
  • Osteoblast
  • Phosphohydrolase
  • Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate
  • Skeleton
  • Vitamin B


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