A newly discovered gene may help treat osteoporosis
Tuesday, 4. February 2014 - 0:00
Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, and Matsumoto Dental University announced that the three universities’ research groups have discovered a specific gene that prevents osteoporosis from progressing, in experiments using mice. Finding out a method to boost the activity of the CNOT3 gene may help develop new drugs. The study will be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, after the 4th of February.
Bones are made of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and maintained by the process, in which osteoclasts are continually broken down and resorbed. With receptors accepting the RANKL protein, cells are transformed into osteoclasts. The study found that the CNOT3 gene regulates receptor activities and controls the number of osteoclasts to be produced.
In their experiments, the researchers of TMDU, including Professors Masaki Noda and Yoichi Ezura, used mice with osteoporosis, whose bone amount had decreased due to aging to one-third of that of young mice. The number of osteoclasts in the mice became larger when decreased the activity of the CNOT3 gene.