• A team of researchers led by Professor Juan Carlos Izpisúa and Pedro Guillén have discovered new functions of the DGCR8 protein, vital to alleviating illnesses such as osteoarthritis.
  • This major scientific breakthrough involved the participation of the Clínica CEMTRO, Fundación Dr. Pedro Guillén, Fundación MAPFRE, Fundación Telefónica, the Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles (AFE) and the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM).

Spanish scientists from the Salk Institute in California and the Clínica CEMTRO in Madrid, led by Professor Juan Carlos Izpisúa and Pedro Guillén, have discovered a new function of the DGCR8 protein which greatly contributes to the rejuvenation of adult mesenchymal stem cells and allows bone and cartilage to regenerate more effectively and also helps reduce muscle inflammation.

The research, which was made possible through a combination of cutting-edge technologies, shows that this is a safe treatment that could help counteract age-related physiological decline such as osteoarthritis by preventing or reversing damage to heterochromatin.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that currently has no cure and affects the mobility and quality of life of 242 million people worldwide, with seven million people in Spain, where it is the leading cause of permanent disability.

The Stabilizing heterochromatin by DGCR8 alleviates senescence and osteoarthritis project,  recently published in the prestigious Nature journal, allows us to deepen our knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with aging, to provide solutions for degenerative diseases and to contribute to improving the health of millions of people.

The result of a collaboration between three scientific groups

The study’s findings are the result of a collaboration between three scientific groups lead by Guang-Hui Liu, Juan Carlos Izpisúa and Pedro Guillén, who have worked for two years to uncover the key to understanding the cellular mechanisms that lead to irreversible aging. The project has enjoyed the participation of Fundación Dr. Pedro Guillén, Fundación MAPFRE, Fundación Telefónica, the Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles (AFE) and the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM).

Fundación Dr. Pedro Guillén works on biomedical research with a special emphasis on the musculoskeletal system.

Fundación MAPFRE is an institution that has been contributing to improving the quality of life and health of people for over 40 years and which allocates around 2 million euros a year to research work.

Fundación Telefónica has been working since 1998 to improve people’s opportunities for development through projects with a digital emphasis and an inclusive, worldwide focus. They use education, training and the dissemination of knowledge as fundamental vehicles for social transformation, with technology underpinning everything they do.