Inorganic Chemistry

Protein-Bound Calcium Phosphate in Uremic Rat Serum: A Quantitative Study



Protein-bound calcium (prCa) constitutes about 40% of serum total calcium, in which albumin is the most dominant protein. Given the chemical interaction between calcium and phosphate (Pi), the increased serum Pi in chronic kidney disease may cause changes in the composition and structure of the prCa fraction. Here, we report the phosphate binding on the protein-bound calcium in uremic rat serum. Using adenine-fed rats as a uremic model, we determined the levels of calcium and phosphate fractions in rat serum by ultrafiltration, and found that the level of protein-bound phosphate (prPi) in the uremic serum was markedly higher than in control. The elevated prPi level was comparable to the prCa level, consistent with the presence of protein-bound calcium phosphate pr(Ca)j-m(CaPi)m. We then confirmed its presence by ex vivo X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy, revealing the discrete state of the calcium phosphate clusters associated with protein. Finally, in a quantitative investigation using Ca- and Pi-boosted serum, we discovered the threshold concentration for the Pi binding on prCa, and determined the binding constant. The threshold, while preventing Pi from binding to prCa in normal condition, allows excess Pi to do so. The protein-bound calcium phosphate could act as a link between the metabolism of serum proteins and the homeostasis of phosphate and calcium, and it deserves further investigation whether the molar ratio of (prPi/prCa)×100% may serve as a serum index of the vascular calcification status in chronic kidney disease.

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