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Nine new osteoarthritis genes discovered

The team looked for genes that were active in the progression of the disease by extracting the relevant cells from healthy and diseased tissue

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Osteoporosis
Bone loss in adults. IANS
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  • Researchers have discovered nine new genes responsible for osteoarthritis
  • These can help in developing new therapies
  • This research may also help in reducing the risk of the disease

Researchers have discovered nine novel genes for osteoarthritis that may open the door to new targeted therapies for this debilitating disease in the future.

Of the nine genes associated with osteoarthritis, researchers identified five genes in particular that differed significantly in their expression in healthy and diseased tissue.

These genes can help create new therapies. blogs.discovermagazine.com

The five genes present novel targets for future research into therapies, the researcher said. According to the researchers, there is no treatment for osteoarthritis. The disease is managed with pain relief and culminates in joint replacement surgery, which has variable outcomes.

“These results are an important step towards understanding the genetic causes of osteoarthritis and take us closer to uncovering the mechanism behind the disease,” said co-author of the study, Eleni Zengini from the University of Sheffield.

For the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers investigated the genetics behind osteoarthritis, as well as the diseases and traits that are linked to it.

The team studied 16.5 million DNA variations. Following combined analysis in up to 30,727 people with osteoarthritis and nearly 300,000 people without osteoarthritis in total — the controls –, scientists discovered nine new genes that were associated with osteoarthritis.

This may also help in finding ways to reduce the risk of the disease.

The researchers then investigated the role of the nine new genes in osteoarthritis, by studying both normal cartilage and diseased cartilage from individuals who had a joint replacement.

The team looked for genes that were active in the progression of the disease by extracting the relevant cells from healthy and diseased tissue, studying the levels of proteins in the tissue and sequencing the RNA — the messenger that carries instructions from DNA for controlling the production of proteins. IANS

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CRISPR Gene Editing can Cause Risky Collateral DNA Damage: Study

The work has implications for how CRISPR/Cas9 is used therapeutically and is likely to re-spark researchers' interest in finding alternatives to the standard CRISPR/Cas9 method for gene editing

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genes
CRISPR/Cas9 is a type of molecular scissor technology that can alter sections of DNA in cells by cutting at specific points and introducing changes at that location.. Pixabay

The much celebrated CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique can cause greater genetic damage in cells than was previously thought, scientists have warned.

CRISPR/Cas9 is a type of molecular scissor technology that can alter sections of DNA in cells by cutting at specific points and introducing changes at that location.

Besides extensive use in scientific research, CRISPR/Cas9 has also been seen as a promising way to create potential genome editing treatments for diseases such as HIV, cancer or sickle cell disease.

But the new research, reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, revealed that CRISPR/Cas9 frequently caused extensive mutations, though at a distance from the target site.

Many of the cells, in both mice and humans, had large genetic rearrangements such as DNA deletions and insertions.

genes
CRISPR/Cas9 frequently caused extensive mutations, though at a distance from the target site.. Pixabay

These could lead to important genes being switched on or off, which could have major implications for CRISPR/Cas9 use in therapies.

In addition, some of these changes were too far away from the target site to be seen with standard genotyping methods, the researchers said.

“This is the first systematic assessment of unexpected events resulting from CRISPR/Cas9 editing in therapeutically relevant cells, and we found that changes in the DNA have been seriously underestimated before now,” said Allan Bradley, Professor at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in London.

Also Read: New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

“It is important that anyone thinking of using this technology for gene therapy proceeds with caution, and looks very carefully to check for possible harmful effects,” Bradley added

The work has implications for how CRISPR/Cas9 is used therapeutically and is likely to re-spark researchers’ interest in finding alternatives to the standard CRISPR/Cas9 method for gene editing.

“While it is not known if genomic sites in other cell lines will be affected in the same way, this study shows that further research and specific testing is needed before CRISPR/Cas9 is used clinically,” the researchers said. (IANS)