Protein discovery could help diagnose, treat PsA 

| Melissa Leavitt

Researchers have discovered a specific set of proteins involved in psoriatic arthritis, which could point the way toward new methods of diagnosing and treating the disease.

Using a scientific technique called mass spectrometry, which analyzes the molecules found in a particular substance, scientists compared the proteins found in the synovial fluid of people with psoriatic arthritis to those found in people with osteoarthritis. They identified 12 specific proteins that are elevated in psoriatic arthritis.

Results from the analysis were published in the recent issue of the journal Clinical Proteomics, in an article titled “Identification of psoriatic arthritis mediators in synovial fluid by quantitative mass spectrometry.”

Synovial fluid is found in the synovial joints, which are the most common kind of joint in the body. Researchers chose to evaluate this fluid, rather than blood, because it contains proteins secreted from various parts of the joint, including ligaments and cartilage.

Many of the proteins that the scientists discovered are already known to be involved in inflammation. For instance, one protein, called DEFA1, is secreted by neutrophils, which are a kind of white blood cell that contribute to inflammation.

Other proteins discovered by the research team had not previously been identified as playing a part in arthritis.

This study is the most comprehensive investigation to date of synovial fluid in psoriatic arthritis, the authors note. Although these proteins still need to be further analyzed, they could provide new information about how psoriatic arthritis develops.

This discovery could be a first step toward identifying biomarkers for psoriatic arthritis, which could help provide a definitive way of diagnosing the disease. Ultimately, this discovery could also help researchers develop new treatments targeting these specific proteins.

Learn more about the National Psoriasis Foundation efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

Recent Advance Posts

Doctor and patient in the exam room
What does your primary care provider have to do with managing your psoriatic...
People meeting around a table for discussion
Have we developed the tools to turn psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis into...
The Patient Navigation Center helps a woman whose PsA went undiagnosed for...
hands holding signs numbers 1 through 5
Psoriatic arthritis is a complicated disease. Learn something new today.
FDA approval stamp
Clinical trial data show drug may help you achieve clear skin.
Test tubes in a lab
A study of immune cells points to clues on how psoriasis makes a person more...
Man with joint pain
A physical therapist weighs in on the exercises and activities you can do even...
NPF volunteer at a Team NPF Cycle event
When a new doctor finally took a close look at all of Erin Faulhaber’s symptoms...
Advocates visiting Congress
Forced to retire early because of his PsA, former diplomat Stephen Keat...