Osteoarthritis (OA), the most prevalent, age-related joint disease, is characterized by degradation in joint cartilage. Molecular mechanisms that govern the development and maintenance of cartilage are being characterized and this has the potential to lead to new therapeuutic interventions.
Small, non-coding microRNAs are new negative regulators of gene expression and have been associated with diseases such as cancer and heart disease, as well as arthritis; however, their role in cartilage maintenance and repair is largely uncharacterized.
In Dr. Miyaki’s research, microRNAs showed novel regulators of cartilage growth and development. And, changes in microRNA expression and function play an important role in OA pathogenesis. The proposed studies have the potential to reveal important new pathways that control cartilage growth. He plans to identify novel targets for OA using this strategy.