New rheumatoid arthritis severity gene identified by scientists

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rheumatoid arthritis gene, new arthritis treatment, arthritis digest magazineA new gene associated with disease severity in models of rheumatoid arthritis has been identified by experts, they report in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The discovery could provide a new pathway for treatment and a way to measure the prognosis of people diagnosed with the autoimmune condition.

Through a series of experiments the team has shown that the gene HIP1 is a driver in inflammatory arthritis severity. This is the first time that HIP1 has been implicated in arthritis severity and in cell invasiveness.

Previous research had found that increased HIP1 expression in certain cancers and correlated with worse prognosis in prostate cancer patients, so the findings also have relevance for cancer biology and the understanding of cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

“There have been major advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the past 20 years, but disease remission still remains uncommon,” says Dr Percio Gulko, who is involved in the work. “Most drugs today target inflammation but often that is not enough to control disease.

“We are aiming for a novel way of treating the disease. One that targets the synovial fibroblast, while sparing the immune system outside the joint.”

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