Because mice deficient in klotho gene expression exhibit multiple aging phenotypes including osteopenia, we explored the possibility that the klotho gene may contribute to age-related bone loss in humans by examining the association between klotho gene polymorphisms and bone density in two genetically distinct racial populations: the white and the Japanese. Screening of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human klotho gene identified 11 polymorphisms, and three of them were common in both populations. Associations of the common SNPs with bone density were investigated in populations of 1187 white women and of 215 Japanese postmenopausal women. In the white population, one in the promoter region (G-395A, p = 0.001) and one in exon 4 (C1818T, p = 0.010) and their haplotypes (p < 0.0001) were significantly associated with bone density in aged postmenopausal women (≥65 years), but not in premenopausal or younger postmenopausal women. These associations were also seen in Japanese postmenopausal women. An electrophoretic mobility shift analysis revealed that the G-A substitution in the promoter region affected DNA-protein interaction in cultured human kidney 293 cells. These results indicate that the klotho gene may be involved in the pathophysiology of bone loss with aging in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine