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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 May 2022 - 20 May 2022

2022 Apr 23

Int J Mol Sci



Regulatory Mechanisms of and Expression in Articular Cartilage and Functions in Osteoarthritis.


Takahata Y, Hagino H, Kimura A, Urushizaki M, Yamamoto S, Wakamori K, Murakami T, Hata K, Nishimura R
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Apr 23; 23(9).
PMID: 35563063.


Owing to the rapid aging of society, the numbers of patients with joint disease continue to increase. Accordingly, a large number of patients require appropriate treatment for osteoarthritis (OA), the most frequent bone and joint disease. Thought to be caused by the degeneration and destruction of articular cartilage following persistent and excessive mechanical stimulation of the joints, OA can significantly impair patient quality of life with symptoms such as knee pain, lower limb muscle weakness, or difficulty walking. Because articular cartilage has a low self-repair ability and an extremely low proliferative capacity, healing of damaged articular cartilage has not been achieved to date. The current pharmaceutical treatment of OA is limited to the slight alleviation of symptoms (e.g., local injection of hyaluronic acid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); hence, the development of effective drugs and regenerative therapies for OA is highly desirable. This review article summarizes findings indicating that proteoglycan 4 ()/lubricin, which is specifically expressed in the superficial zone of articular cartilage and synovium, functions in a protective manner against OA, and covers the transcriptional regulation of in articular chondrocytes. We also focused on growth differentiation factor 5 (, which is specifically expressed on the surface layer of articular cartilage, particularly in the developmental stage, describing its regulatory mechanisms and functions in joint formation and OA pathogenesis. Because several genetic studies in humans and mice indicate the involvement of these genes in the maintenance of articular cartilage homeostasis and the presentation of OA, molecular targeting of and is expected to provide new insights into the aetiology, pathogenesis, and potential treatment of OA.