Volume 56 (2009) Issue 4 Pages 625-631
Wnt signaling is an important regulator of bone homeostasis. The Wnt co-receptor, namely, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), initiates Wnt signal transduction. Recently, we and several other groups have shown that there is a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located in the exon 18 of the LRP5 gene that leads to an amino acid change (3989C > T, A1330V), and is associated with lumbar spine, femoral neck, and radial bone mineral density (BMD), and incidence of fracture. These data suggest that the A1330V variation in the LRP5 gene may affect the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. However, the functional basis of the A1330V variation remains unclear. In the present study, we analyzed the effect of the A1330V variation on Wnt activity. We also investigated the association between this LRP5 SNP and total body BMD using 739 postmenopausal women. LRP5 with the A1330V SNP were transiently coexpressed with Wnt3a in 293T cells and their activity was evaluated by the TCF-Lef reporter assay. In vitro, the TCF-Lef activity in presence of Wnt3a in cells expressing LRP5 and carrying the T allele (Valine at 1330 (V1330)) of exon 18 was significantly reduced as compared to the wild-type allele. The association between the A1330V SNP and total body BMD were replicated in 739 postmenopausal Japanese women (AA vs. VV; P = 0.0026). These data suggest that the V1330 variant in the LRP5 gene decreases Wnt activity, which in turn decreases the BMD.