Phosphatonins: From Discovery to Therapeutics

Kittrawee Kritmetapak, Rajiv Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Phosphate is crucial for cell signaling, energy metabolism, nucleotide synthesis, and bone mineralization. The gut-bone-parathyroid-kidney axis is influenced by parathyroid hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and phosphatonins, especially fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). These hormones facilitate maintenance of phosphate homeostasis. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the phosphate homeostasis, phosphatonin pathophysiology, and clinical implications of FGF23-related hypophosphatemic disorders, with specific focus on burosumab treatment. Method: A focused literature search of PubMed was conducted. Results: Phosphatonins including FGF23, secreted frizzled-related protein 4, matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein, and fibroblast growth factor 7 play a pathogenic role in several hypophosphatemic disorders. Excess FGF23 inhibits sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporters (NaPi-2a and NaPi-2c), resulting in hyperphosphaturia and hypophosphatemia. Additionally, FGF23 suppresses 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D synthesis in the proximal renal tubule, and thus, it indirectly inhibits intestinal phosphate absorption. Disorders of FGF23-related hypophosphatemia include X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets, autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets, fibrous dysplasia/McCune-Albright syndrome, and tumor-induced osteomalacia (TIO). Complications of conventional therapy with oral phosphate and vitamin D analogs comprise gastrointestinal distress, hypercalcemia, nephrocalcinosis, and secondary/tertiary hyperparathyroidism. In both children and adults with XLH and TIO, the anti-FGF23 antibody burosumab exhibits a favorable safety profile and is associated with healing of rickets in affected children and improvement of osteomalacia in both children and adults. Conclusion: The treatment paradigm for XLH and TIO is changing based on data from recent clinical trials. Research suggest that burosumab is effective and safe for pediatric and adult patients with XLH or TIO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • fibroblast growth factor 23
  • hypophosphatemia
  • osteomalacia
  • phosphatonin
  • rickets
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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