We have recently identified a region on the long arm of chromosome 18 that carries a predisposition gene for Paget's disease using linkage analysis. This region was explored because of earlier studies demonstrating the presence of a gene for another bone disorder, familial expansile osteolysis (FEO) within this region. FEO has many similarities to Paget's disease including osteoclast abnormalities and viral-like nuclear inclusions. Therefore, it was proposed that FEO and Paget's disease are disorders resulting from mutations at the same locus. For our linkage study, we utilized a large kindred with a high incidence of Paget's disease. The propositus in this family had polyostotic disease symptoms beginning at age 31. During the process of characterizing this family, four other family members were diagnosed with Paget's disease. One of the proband's siblings was asymptomatic but had high normal serum alkaline phosphatase levels; Paget's disease was identified only after bone scanning (at age 50). This implies that the predisposition gene does not consistently cause severe disease and raises a question concerning the mechanism of predisposition: Does the predisposition gene affect the age of onset and/or the severity of disease? To further explore this question, two individuals from this kindred, under age 30 and carrying the affected haplotype, were evaluated for early onset Paget's disease. No evidence of disease was observed after thorough evaluation. This implies that the age of onset is highly variable for this locus, indicating variable expression of disease in individuals carrying the same mutation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine