Researchers have found that a variant in the FRZB gene may increase the chances of osteoarthritis (OA) in women. The study involved analyzing deoxyribonucleic acid from pairs of siblings with OA. The results showed that a single nucleotide change in FRZB corresponded strongly with OA in women.
The FRZB gene codes for a protein that regulates a signaling pathway that is crucial in skeletal and joint development. The protein produced by the variant version of FRZB cannot perform the duties of the normal protein, according to the study reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers suggested that this variant version of FRZB may upset the proper development of joint cartilage and/or bone, making women with the variant more at risk for OA in the hip. If detected early, this gene variant may aid in prevention, treatment, and development of future treatments for OA.