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OATargets: A knowledge base of genes associated with osteoarthritis joint damage in animals

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jamie Soul, Dr Matthew Barter, Professor David YoungORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. Objectives: To collate the genes experimentally modulated in animal models of osteoarthritis (OA) and compare these data with OA transcriptomics data to identify potential therapeutic targets. Methods: PubMed searches were conducted to identify publications describing gene modulations in animal models. Analysed gene expression data were retrieved from the SkeletalVis database of analysed skeletal microarray and RNA-Seq expression data. A network diffusion approach was used to predict new genes associated with OA joint damage. Results: A total of 459 genes were identified as having been modulated in animal models of OA, with ageing and post-traumatic (surgical) models the most prominent. Ninety-eight of the 143 genes (69%) genetically modulated more than once had a consistent effect on OA joint damage severity. Several discrepancies between different studies were identified, providing lessons on interpretation of these data. We used the data collected along with OA gene expression data to expand existing annotations and prioritise the most promising therapeutic targets, which we validated using the latest reported associations. We constructed an online database OATargets to allow researchers to explore the collated data and integrate it with existing OA and skeletal gene expression data. Conclusions: We present a comprehensive survey and online resource for understanding gene regulation of animal model OA pathogenesis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Soul J, Barter MJ, Little CB, Young DA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Year: 2021

Volume: 80

Issue: 3

Pages: 376-383

Print publication date: 01/03/2021

Online publication date: 19/10/2020

Acceptance date: 09/09/2020

Date deposited: 30/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0003-4967

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2060

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218344

PubMed id: 33077471


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Funder referenceFunder name
22043VERSUS Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK)
Dunhill Medical Trust
JGW Patterson Foundation
JXR 10641
Medical Research Council
MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA)
NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research
R476/0516Dunhill Medical Trust
Versus Arthritis