Osteoarthritis: Targeting a Protein in Cartilage Damage
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent joint disease. In 1990 approximately 40 million Americans were affected and this number is predicted to increase to 60 million within the next twenty years as a result of population aging and an increase in life expectancy. Osteoarthritis begins with disruption of the cartilage surface and leads to progressive cartilage erosion, and aging is the major risk factor for this form of arthritis. However, mechanisms for the initiation of the earliest damage to cartilage are not known. Dr. Taniguchi focuses on the role of a novel chromatin protein in cartilage surface homeostasis and aging-dependent osteoarthritis. This information will not only be relevant to treating and possibly preventing osteoarthritis but also to cartilage tissue engineering.