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Autoimmune disease


b-Glucuronidase (GUSB)

Mouse studies suggest stimulating GUSB activity could help protect against Lyme disease-associated arthritis. A partial loss-of-function variant of Gusb was found in mouse strains highly susceptible to severe arthritis following Borrelia burgdorferi infection but not in mice with lower susceptibility. In mice with the Gusb variant, overexpression of wild-type Gusb decreased B. burgdorferi-induced arthritis compared with normal expression. In mice with severe B. burgdorferi-induced arthritis, inflammatory glycosaminoglycans, which are degraded by Gusb, accumulated in joint tissues. Next steps could include study of GUSB or glycosaminoglycans as biomarkers of human susceptibility to arthritis.

SciBX 7(4); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.108
Published online Jan. 30, 2014

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Bramwell, K.C. et al. J. Clin. Invest.; published online Dec. 16, 2013;
Contact: Janis J. Weis, University of Utah School of Medicine,
Salt Lake City, Utah