Pseudohypophosphatasia: Aberrant localization and substrate specificity of alkaline phosphatase in cultured skin fibroblasts

K. N. Fedde, D. E.C. Cole, M. P. Whyte

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21 Scopus citations


We explored the biochemical basis for the disorder pseudohypophosphatasia (PsHYPT) in one patient by examining the substrate specificity and localization of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in cultured dermal fibroblasts. Despite substantial ALP activity, in cell homogenates, toward the artificial substrate 4-methyl-umbelliferyl phosphate (4-MUP), there was a marked deficiency in ALP activity toward the natural substrates pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) and phosphoethanolamine (PEA), indicating altered substrate specificity. Furthermore, although 4-MUP phosphatase (4-MUP-P'tase) activity was predominantly localized as an ecto-enzyme, the small amount of PLP phosphatase (PLP-P'tase) activity was intracellular. This differential localization was apparent in intact cells, since (1) brief acidification of the medium at 4°C inactivated a majority of the 4-MUP-P'tase activity but only 15% of the PLP-P'tase activity (in contrast to >85% inactivation of both in homogenates), (2) >70% of the 4-MUP-P'tase activity but only 30% of the PLP-P'tase activity was released by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) digestion, and (3) degradation of extracellular PLP was <35% of that of disrupted cells. Both 4-MUP- and PLP-P'tase activities were predominantly in a lipid-anchored form that could be converted to a soluble, lipid-free form by PI-PLC digestion. Our findings suggest that the clinical and biochemical presentation of this PSHPT patient results from the production of two aberrant ALP species. One form of ALP has appropriate ecto-orientation but is preferentially deficient in activity toward natural substrates; the other ALP species has appropriate substrate specificity but is sequestered from substrates by its intracellular location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-783
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


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