Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel therapeutic target identified in fight against Rheumatoid Arthritis

17.09.2003


A team of scientists, led by Toshihiro Nakajima at the St Marianna University School of Medicine in Japan, has identified an exciting therapeutic target that may lead to the development of new treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).



As published in the latest edition of Genes and Development, the scientists report the discovery of ’synoviolin’, an enzyme that is found in abnormally high levels in diseased joints. High levels of synoviolin are found to cause an overgrowth of joint-destroying synovial cells, a key clinical feature of RA. By reducing levels of synoviolin, scientists hope to halt the proliferation of synovial cells and the devastating progression of RA.

RA is one of the most common joint diseases, affecting approximately 0.5-1.0% of the adult population worldwide. The progressive joint destruction, which mainly targets the small joints of the hands and feet, eventually results in severe movement disability. The clinical features of RA include chronic inflammation of the synovium, or lining of the joint, accompanied by the overgrowth of synovial cells, a condition known as synovial hyperplasia. This mass of synovial cells, or ’pannus’, eventually invades and destroys the cartilage and bone within the joint. Clearly, understanding the factors that regulate synovial hyperplasia are key to designing new therapies to treat RA.


Dr Nakajima and colleagues set out to identify proteins found in synovial cells from rheumatoid joints, with the hope of discovering novel pathogenic factors involved in RA. Using an antibody screening approach, the scientists identified synoviolin as an enzyme that is upregulated in synovial tissues from RA patients. To elucidate the function of synoviolin, the team engineered mice that produced an excess of synoviolin. Significantly, these mice developed spontaneous arthritic joint disease, suggesting that too much synoviolin is indeed an important factor in the development of RA. They also generated mice with half the normal amount of synoviolin. When these mice were treated with a protocol that induces arthritis in normal mice, the ’low-synoviolin’ mice were protected from the arthritis. This result firmly identified synoviolin as a key player in RA pathology.

The scientists went on uncover the cellular mechanism by which altered levels of synoviolin could influence joint pathology. By careful analysis of the engineered mice, they showed that synovial hyperplasia was prevented in the low-synoviolin mice because of increased synovial cell suicide or ’apoptosis’. Apoptosis is a vital protective mechanism against the overproduction of diseased or unwanted cells. On the other hand, synovial cell apoptosis was significantly impaired in mice overexpressing synoviolin, promoting synovial hypoplasia and ultimately, joint disease.

This research demonstrates the significance of synoviolin in regulating synovial hyperplasia and ultimately joint destruction in RA. It offers new insights into the etiology of RA and a novel target for innovative RA therapies. Future research will undoubtedly be focused on designing reagents to reduce the amount or inhibit the activity of synoviolin in diseased joints.

Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>