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The World inMedicine
February 16, 2005

Gene Linked to Arthritis

JAMA. 2005;293(7):790. doi:10.1001/jama.293.7.790-d

A genetic factor in the development of osteoarthritis and clues to its mechanism of action have been described by Japanese researchers in the January 2 online edition of Nature Genetics (

The researchers found a strong association between an allele (D14) of the gene encoding asporin, an extracellular matrix protein, and the presence and severity of hip and knee osteoarthritis. They also found that in an in vitro model, asporin inhibits cartilage formation in the joint by suppressing tumor growth factor β–mediated expression of the genes that encode aggrecan and type 2 collagen and by reducing proteoglycan accumulation.

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