Elevated serum phosphorus has emerged as a key risk factor for pathologic calcification of
cardiovascular structures, or vascular calcification (VC). To prevent the formation of calciumphosphate
deposits (CPD), the body uses adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP) to synthesize inhibitors of
calcification, including proteins and inhibitors of low molecular weight. Extracellular pyrophosphate
(PPi) is a potent inhibitor of VC, which is produced during extracellular hydrolysis of ATP. Loss of
function in the enzymes and transporters that are involved in the cycle of extracellular ATP, including
Pi transporters, leads to excessive deposition of calcium-phosphate salts. Treatment of hyperphosphatemia
with Pi-binders and Injection of exogenous PPi are the effective treatments to prevent CPD
in the aortic wall. The role of sodium phosphate cotransporters in ectopic calcification is contradictory and not well defined,
but their important role in the control of intracellular Pi levels and the synthesis of ATP make them an important
target to study.
Keywords: ATP, calcium, phosphate, pyrophosphate, vascular calcification.
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