Navigation Links
Team led by Scripps Research scientists discovers body's own molecular protection against arthritis
Date:5/18/2010

LA JOLLA, CA May 17, 2010 An international team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute in California and the National Research Institute for Child Health and Development in Japan has discovered that a natural molecule in the body counters the progression of osteoarthritis. The findings could one day lead to new therapies for some common diseases of aging.

The study was published in an advanced, online issue of the journal Genes & Development on May 13, 2010, and will be featured as the cover story of the June 1 print edition of the journal.

The molecule the team studied, microRNA 140 (miR-140), is part of a recently discovered category of genetic molecules"microRNAs" or "non-coding RNAs" which do not code for proteins, yet often play a vital role in gene expression.

"This is the first report showing the critical role of a specific non-coding RNA in bone development," said Hiroshi Asahara, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of molecular and experimental medicine at Scripps Research. "Moreover, surprisingly, we observed that microRNA 140 acts against arthritis progression. This is among the first evidence that non-coding RNA plays a key role in age-dependent diseases."

"This finding may lead to a new therapeutic strategy for osteoarthritis," said Shigeru Miyaki, senior research associate in the Asahara lab and first author of the paper with Tempei Sato of the National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, "as well as for conditions that share a similar mechanism, such as spinal disc degeneration."

Broad Impact

Even in comparison with other diseases of aging, osteoarthritis has a remarkably broad impact. Currently affecting about 15 to 20 million Americans, osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder and is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next two decades with the aging of the population. With no effective treatments, current management strategies for osteoarthritis focus on reducing pain and inflammation.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is a disease that affects joint cartilage, the major weight-bearing "cushion" in joints. The disease results from a combination of wear and tear on cartilage and underlying age-related changes that causes cartilage to deteriorate. Joint trauma can also play a role. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hands, spine, hips, and knees.

Asahara and other members his laboratory were interested in the question of why some people's joints age normally, while others' spiral toward disease.

The scientists suspected that microRNA could play a role. Once thought of as mere genetic helpers, microRNAs are now known to prevent proteins from being produced by messenger RNA, thus acting as an important layer of regulation for biological processes.

"Recent research findings indicate that non-coding RNA should be involved in our development and in diseases," said Asahara, "but we know little about the role of the non-coding RNA for age-related adult disorders."

Breaking New Ground

The team's interest in one type of microRNA in particular, miR-140, was piqued by other work ongoing in the lab, which was published last year. In this study, the team made the observation that miR-140which is only expressed in cartilagewas reduced in cartilage samples from osteoarthritis patients. This led the team to hypothesize that miR-140 is a regulator in osteoarthritis pathology.

To test this idea, the team tried for several years to make targeted "knockout" mouse models that lacked miR-140. They finally succeeded.

With models lacking miR-140, the scientists were able to figure out its effects. Since the animals lacking miR-140 were short in stature, the scientists concluded that miR-140 affected bone formation during development. The mutant mice were also particularly prone to developing osteoarthritis, suggesting that miR-140 retarded the disease. In contrast, the scientists found, transgenic mice that overexpressed miR-140 were resistant to developing the condition.

The team's findings fit in well with other recent research showing that an enzyme called Adamts-5 is necessary for osteoarthritis progression; miR-140 is known to regulate Adamts-5.

The team continues to investigate to learn more about the factors that control miR-140, the proteins it affects, and potential drugs that might influence its action.


'/>"/>

Contact: Keith McKeown
kmckeown@scripps.edu
858-784-8134
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scripps scientists discover fluorescence in key marine creature
2. Scripps research team blocks bacterial communication system to prevent deadly staph infections
3. Scripps scientists develop new tests that identify lethal prion strains quickly and accurately
4. Scripps Research discovery leads to broad potential applications in CovX-Pfizer deal
5. Scripps expedition provides new baseline for coral reef conservation
6. Bright lights: Mystery of glowing antibody solved by Scripps research scientists
7. Fishing throws targeted species off balance, Scripps study shows
8. Scripps Oceanography Research pegs ID of red tide killer
9. Scripps Research Institute awarded patent for remarkable chemical technology
10. Scripps research scientists reveal key structure from ebola virus
11. Scripps study sets high economic value on threatened Mexican mangroves
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... ARLINGTON, Va. , June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... a leading developer and supplier of face and ... the ATA Featured Product provider program. ... created an innovative way to monitor a driver,s ... benefit greatly from being able to detect fatigue ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an ... identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate as ... 15 thru May 17, 2017, in Washington ... Center. Identity impacts the lives of ... quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by the ... in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ionization ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants will learn ... as well as gain a better understanding of how genomics is important for ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the one-day agenda ... September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , Returning as ... Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers in discussing ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, ... Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin will allow ...
Breaking Biology Technology: