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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Paradoxical block of parathormone secretion is mediated by increased activity of G alpha subunits.

The paradox of blunted parathormone (PTH) secretion in patients with severe hypomagnesemia has been known for more than 20 years, but the underlying mechanism is not deciphered. We determined the effect of low magnesium on in vitro PTH release and on the signals triggered by activation of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR). Analogous to the in vivo situation, PTH release from dispersed parathyroid cells was suppressed under low magnesium. In parallel, the two major signaling pathways responsible for CaSR- triggered block of PTH secretion, the generation of inositol phosphates, and the inhibition of cAMP were enhanced. Desensitization or pertussis toxin-mediated inhibition of CaSR-stimulated signaling suppressed the effect of low magnesium, further confirming that magnesium acts within the axis CaSR-G-protein. However, the magnesium binding site responsible for inhibition of PTH secretion is not identical with the extracellular ion binding site of the CaSR, because the magnesium deficiency-dependent signal enhancement was not altered on CaSR receptor mutants with increased or decreased affinity for calcium and magnesium. By contrast, when the magnesium affinity of the G alpha subunit was decreased, CaSR activation was no longer affected by magnesium. Thus, the paradoxical block of PTH release under magnesium deficiency seems to be mediated through a novel mechanism involving an increase in the activity of G alpha subunits of heterotrimeric G-proteins.[1]


  1. Paradoxical block of parathormone secretion is mediated by increased activity of G alpha subunits. Quitterer, U., Hoffmann, M., Freichel, M., Lohse, M.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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