Gene: Bone

Source: Bone Gene Found, 02-04-2007

A gene has been identified by scientists in California that is believed to play a key role in osteoporosis, the crippling brittle bone disease. The gene, called DARC, is involved in the regulation of bone density. Low bone mineral density is the primary cause of the disease, which affects about one in twenty people in Britain.

More from this article, 13-04-2007:

The study, conducted by scientists at the Musculoskeletal Diseases Center of the Jerry L Pettis Memorial Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center at Loma Linda, shows convincing evidence that a gene called DARC negatively regulates bone density in mice. The report will appear online in Genome Research.

“If our finding using the mouse model is confirmed in humans, then we may be able to develop therapies that are based on inhibiting the function of the DARC gene,” explains Dr. Subburaman Mohan, Ph.D., a Senior Scientist at the Loma Linda VA Medical Center and a Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Loma Linda University. “We will also be able to develop genetic screens to identify individuals who are at risk for osteoporosis.”

In the current project, Mohan and his colleagues honed in on this region of chromosome 1 using a variety of molecular techniques, and they located a gene called DARC (Duffy Antigen Receptor for Chemokines) that exhibited different levels of expression in mice with higher BMD.

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