Arthritis Relief Could be Found in New Protein
Arthritis relief could be on the way.
Researchers have created a new protein molecule that may provide the basis for therapies in inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study.
"The development of this protein extends our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive the growth factors and cytokines control of cartilage development and arthritis," said Chuan-ju Liu, PhD, the lead researcher and associate professor, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Cell Biology, NYU Langone Medical Center. "Whether the protein accounts for all of the anti-inflammatory effects we observed in the study needs to be replicated, but we are very encouraged by these initial results."
A group of more than 20 scientists found that a protein called progranulin binds to TNF receptors and that administering the protein to mice with rheumatoid arthritis reduced or even eliminated their symptoms.
Scientists then determined which fragments of progranulin were responsible for binding to TNF and combined those fragments to engineer a protein that works even better to suppress the disease. Mice with mild arthritis appeared to be disease-free after several weeks of regular injections of the modified progranulin, which the researchers dubbed Atsttrin.
"The results are really spectacular," Paul Anderson, a rheumatology expert at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the study, told Science Daily. "It looks like [they've found] a new pathway for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis."