FGF23 at the crossroads of phosphate, iron economy and erythropoiesis.
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) was initially characterized as an important regulator of phosphate and calcium homeostasis. New research advances demonstrate that FGF23 is also linked to iron economy, inflammation and erythropoiesis. These advances have been fuelled, in part, by the serendipitous development of two distinct FGF23 assays that can substitute for invasive bone biopsies to infer the activity of the three main steps of FGF23 regulation in bone: transcription, post-translational modification and peptide cleavage. This 'liquid bone biopsy for FGF23 dynamics' enables large-scale longitudinal studies of FGF23 regulation that would otherwise be impossible in humans. The balance between FGF23 production, post-translational modification and cleavage is maintained or perturbed in different hereditary monogenic conditions and in acquired conditions that mimic these genetic disorders, including iron deficiency, inflammation, treatment with ferric carboxymaltose and chronic kidney disease. Looking ahead, a deeper understanding of the relationships between FGF23 regulation, iron homeostasis and erythropoiesis can be leveraged to devise novel therapeutic targets for treatment of anaemia and states of FGF23 excess, including chronic kidney disease.
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