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Arthritis breakthrough links symptoms to enzyme

Arthritis breakthrough links symptoms to enzyme
10th February 2011

Scientists may have reached a breakthrough in understanding the causes of rheumatoid arthritis.

A team of researchers at the University of Gothenburg found that deficiency in the enzyme GGTase-I among mice test subjects led to the development of chronic inflammation, as well as cartilage and bone erosion at the joints.

The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and have been compared by the scientist to the symptoms seen among humans suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

These findings may underline the need for more research into the affect of this protein on the arthritic symptoms, which can require assisted living and even cause physical disability in the worst cases.

"We had to reassess the role that GGTase-I plays in the function of CAAX proteins, and found that one group of CAAX proteins could not only function quite normally in macrophages that didn't have any GGTase-I, but even increased in number and activity," the researchers noted.

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