Sclerostin inhibition: A novel therapeutic approach for osteoporosis
Osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures are growing problems with the aging population and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Osteoporosis and its associated fracture risk has become one of the major health burdens in our aging population. Osteoporosis quite affects aged women, their bone’s structure weakens and fractures risk rises.
Sclerostin, an inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway that regulates bone growth, has become an attractive therapeutic target for treating osteoporosis. Inhibiting a protein called Sclerostin could significantly assist in treating osteoporosis.
Researchers summarize the recent findings of sclerostin and its potential as an effective drug target for treating both osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. Sclerostin plays an important role in bone metabolism and it is of major interest. When its function is hindered, bone resorption decreases and bone re-growth is stimulated. It is one of the first trial with a sclerostin-inhibiting antibody led by researchers of Amgen and UCB, showed that bone mass of participants increased. Currently, studies are continued at several locations, among others Wurzburg, Munich and Dresden.
Julius-Maximilians-Universitat Würzburg (JMU), researchers for the first time crystallized an antibody effective against Sclerostin and analyzed its mode of action. According to Verena Boschert, postdoc at the Julius-von-Sachs Institute, "Our findings could have a positive impact on the design of new inhibitory antibodies targeting Sclerostin." He added, "Until now, we could only determine the structure of the antibody alone." Their next step is to crystallize the antibody together with Sclerostin or a binding fragment. As a result, that, comprehensive view of the interaction between antibody and its target will be obtained.