Researchers have found that a variantin the FRZB gene may increase thechances of osteoarthritis (OA) in women.The study involved analyzing deoxyribonucleicacid from pairs of siblings withOA. The results showed that a single nucleotidechange in FRZB correspondedstrongly with OA in women.
The FRZB gene codes for a protein thatregulates a signaling pathway that is crucialin skeletal and joint development. Theprotein produced by the variant version ofFRZB cannot perform the duties of thenormal protein, according to the study reportedrecently in the Proceedings of theNational Academy of Sciences. Theresearchers suggested that this variantversion of FRZB may upset the properdevelopment of joint cartilage and/orbone, making women with the variantmore at risk for OA in the hip. If detectedearly, this gene variant may aid in prevention,treatment, and development of futuretreatments for OA.