Osteoarthritis Linked to Gene Mutation
Unusual DNA Pattern Seen in Cartilage Gene of Osteoarthritis Patients
March 27, 2007 -- Variations in a cartilage gene may increase the odds of
developing osteoarthritis, a Japanese study shows.
In osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, the cartilage that
covers and cushions joints wears down. The gene in question helps develop
cartilage, say the researchers.
They included Shiro Ikegawa, MD, PhD, head of the Laboratory for Bone and
Joint Diseases at Tokyo's RIKEN, a science and technology research
When Ikegawa and colleagues screened the GDF5 gene in 24 people with hip
osteoarthritis, several DNA variations in the GDF5 gene stood out.
Based on their findings, the researchers screened the GDF5 gene in 239
Japanese hip osteoarthritis patients, 718 Japanese knee osteoarthritis
patients, and more than 1,100 Japanese people without osteoarthritis.
Variations in the GDF5 gene were more common in the osteoarthritis patients
than in the people without osteoarthritis.
The same was true when the researchers looked at a group of 313 Chinese
patients with knee osteoarthritis and 485 Chinese people without
The findings don't mean GDF5 is the only gene that affects
But the study "will open a new window" in osteoarthritis research
and may eventually lead to new treatments, the researchers write in Nature