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Research Tools for the Study of Aspects of Epigenetics of OA

Author: 
Ian Clark
Congress Year: 
2014

RESEARCH TOOLS FOR THE STUDY OF ASPECTS OF THE EPIGENETICS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
Ian M Clark

School of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Research Centre, Norwich Research Park, University of East Anglia, U.K.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterised by degradation of articular cartilage as well as thickening of the subchondral bone and the formation of osteophytes at the joint margin.  The aetiology of OA is complex with genetic, developmental, biochemical and biomechanical factors contributing to the disease process.  Aberrant gene expression has clearly been shown in OA and epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to this.  

Epigenetic modifications may include: DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNA expression (both microRNA and long non-coding RNA).  A number of studies have compared epigenetic modifications in OA and normal tissues and examined epigenetic mechanisms which impact upon the disease.

Key to dissecting the function of epigenetics in OA is the methodology by which these changes can be measured.  This workshop explored aspects of the research tools which can be used for the study of epigenetics in OA.  It dissected methods to assess:  protein-DNA interactions, including histone marks;  DNA methylation; microRNA measurement.