PIEZO de resistance

A pair of recently identified calcium channels-PIEZO1 and PIEZO2-control the response of cartilage to heavy loads and offer new targets for joint injury and osteoarthritis, according to findings from a team at Duke University.1 A channel-blocking peptide protected cartilage cells from injury-induced apoptosis and could lead to a new therapy, but some researchers believe it is premature to take that route without knowing more about the channels' role in cartilage pathology.

The discovery nevertheless adds useful information to the field because although calcium currents have been known to promote both cartilage cell health and death, the channels involved have been elusive.

Earlier this year, the same Duke team showed that calcium influx through the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4; VRL2) channel has the opposite effect and

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