Molecular Skeletal Biology

Organisational unit: Research group

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


Cartilage and bone are tissues that are rich in extracellular matrix. The composition of the extracellular matrix is responsible for their unique physical properties where cartilage withstands load and contribute to low-friction movements. Bone support and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals.


The research aims at understanding structural and functional relationships of proteins within the extracellular matrix, how these interact with each other and how they influence cell behavior. We study the molecular composition of the extracellular matrix using tissue proteomics. In joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis the cartilage is affected by breakdown and loss of function. We study this tissue degradation at early stages of the disease process by identifying proteolytic events leading to the release of protein fragments characterized by mass spectrometry. We are also invetigating the consequences of functional mutations in the highly abundant protein aggrecan. Patients with these mutations have affected growth and commonly have short stature and premature osteoarthritis. These studies increase our knowledge of early events in the disease process that is critical for identification of new biomarkers for improved diagnostics and future therapy.

Recent research outputs

V. P. Karjalainen, I. Kestilä, M. A. Finnilä, E. Folkesson, A. Turkiewicz, P. Önnerfjord, V. Hughes, J. Tjörnstrand, M. Englund & S. Saarakkala, 2021 May 1, In: Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 29, 5, p. 762-772 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martina M De Santis, Hani N Alsafadi, Sinem Tas, Deniz A Bölükbas, Sujeethkumar Prithiviraj, Iran A Da Silva, Margareta Mittendorfer, Chiharu Ota, John Stegmayr, Fatima Daoud, Melanie Königshoff, Karl Swärd, Jeffery A Wood, Manlio Tassieri, Paul E Bourgine, Sandra Lindstedt, Sofie Mohlin & Darcy E Wagner, 2021, In: Advanced Materials. 33, 3, 2005476.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sébastien Pigeot, Thibaut Klein, Fabiana Gullotta, Steven J. Dupard, Alejandro Garcia Garcia, Andres García-García, Sujeethkumar Prithiviraj, Pilar Lorenzo, Miriam Filippi, Claude Jaquiery, Loraine Kouba, M. Adelaide Asnaghi, Deepak Bushan Raina, Boris Dasen, Hanna Isaksson, Patrik Önnerfjord, Magnus Tägil, Attilio Bondanza, Ivan Martin & Paul E. Bourgine, 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Advanced Materials.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View All (32)