Identification of a novel tandem duplication in exon 1 of the TNFRSF11A gene in two unrelated patients with familial expansile osteolysis

Teresa L. Johnson-Pais, Frederick R. Singer, Henry G. Bone, Cynthia T. McMurray, Marc F. Hansen, Robin J. Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Familial expansile osteolysis (FEO) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by striking focal expansile osteolytic bone lesions and generalized osteopenia, often accompanied by characteristic early hearing loss and dental disease. The TNFRSF11A gene encodes the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK), which has been demonstrated to be essential in bone remodeling and osteoclast differentiation. Identical insertional mutations in the first exon of RANK have been identified in all published FEO kindreds. The mutation is an 18 base pair tandem duplication in the sequence coding for the signal peptide of RANK, which causes an increase in NF-κB signaling. We report the identification and mutational analysis of two unrelated FEO patients. One had no family history of FEO, but presented with bilateral hearing loss at an early age, deterioration of teeth, and severe pain and swelling in the distal tibia before the age of 20. The second patient had a family history of FEO and exhibited an extensive expansile tibial lesion and lesions in one humerus and a phalanx. She also had early hearing loss and dental disease. Mutational analysis of the TNFRSF11A gene in our patients demonstrated an 18 base pair tandem duplication, one base proximal to the duplications previously reported. This novel mutation results in addition of the same six amino acids to the RANK signal peptide that has been observed previously. Further analysis of the exon 1 sequence demonstrated that it has the ability to form a stable secondary structure that may facilitate the generation of tandem duplications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-380
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Familial expansile osteolysis
  • Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB
  • Secondary structure
  • Tandem duplication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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