PROJECT 1 – Osteoprotegerin (Research Project DDID-100108)
Real hope in research
The bone and muscle tissues represent about 65% of the human body’s total mass. They are involved in many vital functions, including movement, breathing and blood cell production. Aging, loss of mobility, hypogravity and many disease conditions, such as muscular dystrophy, simultaneously cause the breakdown of bone and muscle tissue. These tissues respond together to changes in their mechanical, hormonal or pharmacological environments.
The main goal of Dr. Jérôme Frenette’s research team at Laval University is to identify common metabolic pathways between muscles and bones, in order to discover new treatments for muscle diseases.
The RANK/RANKL/OPG signaling pathway plays a crucial role in bone remodeling. RANK is RANKL’s receptor, and their pairing prompts the differentiation and production of osteoclasts – the cells responsible for bone remodeling and resorption. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) protects bone by binding with RANKL, reducing the production of osteoclasts to prevent osteoporosis.
The most recent work of Dr. Frenette’s team has shown that OPG also protects the function and integrity of muscles in dystrophic mice, and it does so remarkably well. This discovery opens new treatment options for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Learn more about OPG:
Learn more about funding:
A thank-you note from Dr. Jérôme Frenette
I would like to thank you for supporting our research project on osteoprotegerin as a novel and natural protector of bone and muscle diseases. You can be sure that all dollars given by the Alliance will be spent wisely in order to move our research program, as fast as we can, towards a clinical trial for children with DMD.
I would appreciate having a most meaningful photo of your son. This photo will be posted in my lab, so my graduate students and research assistant will know for whom they are really working.