MafB Gene May Be Linked to Dupuytren's Disease
It's clear that Dupuytren's Disease (DD) has a genetic base but scientists don't know much beyond that. In this study researchers try to find the DNA sequence to explain DD.

DD causes thick scar tissue to form in the palm of the hand pulling the fingers into a flexed position. The patient with DD is unable to straighten the affected fingers. This is called a flexion contracture.

DNA microarray technology was used to look at DNA in three groups of patients. One group had DD. Tissue samples were taken from the contracted tissue. The second group of tissue samples came from patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Normal, healthy tissue (control samples) were also taken from the DD group.

The technology used helped find genes present in the DD tissues that were not found in the other two tissue samples. Seven such genes were found but only one (MafB) can cause the overgrowth of tissue. MafB was then examined more closely.

The authors found more than four times the normal amount of MafB in the DD tissue samples. This is described as an upgraded expression of the MafB gene. There was no MafB found in any of the control or carpal tunnel tissues.

Future studies are needed to understand the role of MafB in DD. Finding the exact cause of the problem could help researchers find a cure for this disabling condition.
Lucy C. Lee, BA, et al. Expression of a Novel Gene, MafB, in Dupuytren's Disease. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. February 2006. Vol. 31A. No. 2. Pp. 211-218.