When RCGD 423 was injected into the knees of rats with damaged cartilage, the...
When RCGD 423 was injected into the knees of rats with damaged cartilage, the animals could more effectively heal their injuries.
Credit: Keck School of Medicine of USC

News • No more joint replacement?

Small molecule could make a big difference for arthritis patients

Scientists discover a molecule that enhances cartilage regeneration and decreases inflammation

Photo
Denis Evseekno, MD, PhD, of the Keck School of Medicine of USC
Source: Ricardo Carrasco III/Keck Medicine of USC

Will there come a time when a patient with arthritis can forgo joint replacement surgery in favor of a shot? Keck School of Medicine of USC scientist Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, has reason to be optimistic. In a new publication in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, Evseenko’s team describes the promise of a new molecule aptly named “Regulator of Cartilage Growth and Differentiation,” or RCGD 423 for short. As its name implies, RCGD 423 enhances regeneration while curbing inflammation. When RCGD 423 was applied to joint cartilage cells in the laboratory, the cells proliferated more and died less, and when injected into the knees of rats with damaged cartilage, the animals could more effectively heal their injuries.

RCGD 423 exerts its effects by communicating with a specific molecule in the body. This molecule, called the glycoprotein 130 (Gp130) receptor, receives two very different types of signals: those that promote cartilage development in the embryo, and those that trigger chronic inflammation in the adult. RCGD 423 amplifies the Gp130 receptor’s ability to receive the developmental signals that can stimulate cartilage regeneration, while blocking the inflammatory signals that can lead to cartilage degeneration over the long term.

It’s not going to cure arthritis, but it will delay the progression of arthritis to the damaging stages

Denis Evseenko

Given these auspicious early results, the team is already laying the groundwork for a clinical trial to test RCGD 423 or a similar molecule as a treatment for osteoarthritis or juvenile arthritis. “The goal is to make an injectable therapy for an early to moderate level of arthritis,” says Evseenko, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery. “It’s not going to cure arthritis, but it will delay the progression of arthritis to the damaging stages when patients need joint replacements, which account for a million surgeries a year in the U.S.”

Evseenko sees RCGD 423 as a prototype for a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs with a very broad range of indications. His lab has already developed several structural analogs of RCGD 423 with varying biological effects and potency. In a previous study published in Nature Cell Biology, RCGD 423 was shown to activate stem cells to make hair grow. The lab is partnering with scientists at USC and beyond to explore the broader potential of these molecules to treat rheumatoid arthritis, jaw arthritis, lupus, neurological and heart diseases and baldness, as well as to maintain pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory.


Source: Keck Medicine of USC

07.02.2018

More on the subject:
Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

News • Tumor location as important growth factor

New molecular microscopy uncovers breast cancer spread

Researchers have created a tool that maps how breast cancer grows in previously unseen detail, and highlights how the cells around the tumour may be the key to controlling the spread of disease.

Photo

News • AI approach to colorectal tumors

Deep learning identifies molecular patterns of cancer

A new AI platform can analyze genomic data extremely quickly, picking out key patterns to classify different types of colorectal tumors and improve the drug discovery process.

Photo

News • A new tool to combat superbugs

Defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria with 'molecular tweezers'

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a looming super threat – heralding a time when our drugs will no longer be effective against prevalent infections. Hospitals are already coping with…

Related products

Pluslife Biotech – Mini Dock POC Molecular System

POCT

Pluslife Biotech – Mini Dock POC Molecular System

Guangzhou Pluslife Biotech Co., Ltd.
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Sense Biodetection, Ltd. - Veros Covid-19

Other

Sense Biodetection, Ltd. - Veros Covid-19

Sense Biodetection, Ltd.
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030 CL (IVD)/ CLAM-2030 (RUO)

Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030 CL (IVD)/ CLAM-2030 (RUO)

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Shimadzu – LCMS-8060NX CL (IVD) / LCMS-8060 NX (RUO)

Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – LCMS-8060NX CL (IVD) / LCMS-8060 NX (RUO)

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter