The paper was published on October 31st in the journal Science Signaling.
The first author, Dr. Michael Miao, recently received his PhD with Dr. Richard Loeser serving as his thesis advisor.
This study was titled: “Redox-active endosomes mediate α5β1 integrin signaling and promote chondrocyte matrix metalloproteinase production in osteoarthritis.”
The research evaluated the mechanism by which receptors called integrins on the surface of cartilage cells are activated by fragments of the matrix protein fibronectin to promote production of enzymes that cause further cartilage breakdown. This results in a vicious cycle of matrix destruction that contributes to loss of articular cartilage, a central feature of osteoarthritis (OA).
OA is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 32 million individuals in the U.S. and over 500 million worldwide. The lack of effective treatments for OA results in chronic pain and disability, often leading to the need for joint replacement surgery. The deeper understanding of how joint tissue destruction occurs in OA provided by this study will help researchers define new and badly needed therapeutic targets.
You can view the article and the accompanying commentary via this link.