Genetic discovery could lead to new approaches to improve bone growth

September 7, 2010

Dr. Dennis Bulman’s group has discovered a new gene associated with Brachydactylyl A1, a rare condition that causes shortened fingers and toes. Eight affected members of a French-Canadian family were all found to have mutations in a gene called growth / differentiation factor 5 (GDF5). Previous cases of the condition have all been associated with the Indian Hegdehog (IHH) gene, or an unknown gene on chromosome 5. This research sheds new light on the genetic pathways that control bone growth and development, and could help in the development of regenerative therapies for various disorders. See Human Mutation for details.