Paget disease of bone (PDB) is a skeletal disorder characterized by focal abnormalities of bone remodeling, which result in enlarged and deformed bones in one or more regions of the skeleton. In some cases, the pagetic tissue undergoes neoplastic transformation, resulting in osteosarcoma and, less frequently, in giant cell tumor of bone (GCT). We performed whole-exome sequencing in a large family with 14 PDB-affected members, four of whom developed GCT at multiple pagetic skeletal sites, and we identified the c.2810C>G (p.Pro937Arg) missense mutation in the zinc finger protein 687 gene (ZNF687). The mutation precisely co-segregated with the clinical phenotype in all affected family members. The sequencing of seven unrelated individuals with GCT associated with PDB (GCT/PDB) identified the same mutation in all individuals, unravelling a founder effect. ZNF687 is highly expressed during osteoclastogenesis and osteoblastogenesis and is dramatically upregulated in the tumor tissue of individuals with GCT/PDB. Interestingly, our preliminary findings showed that ZNF687, indicated as a target gene of the NFkB transcription factor by ChIP-seq analysis, is also upregulated in the peripheral blood of PDB-affected individuals with (n = 5) or without (n = 6) mutations in SQSTM1, encouraging additional studies to investigate its potential role as a biomarker of PDB risk.
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