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Protein citrullination as a link between periodontal diseases and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and target for development of novel drugs to treat RA

FP7-cooFinancing FP7-cooperation Financing: Seventh Research Framework Programme of the European Union’s (ref. FP7-HEALTH-F2-2010-261460)
Duration: November 2010 – October 2014
Web: www.gumsandjoints.com


Collaborative Project

The Gums&Joints consortium consists of eleven partners representing 8 EU countries:

  • 6 universities: University of Goteborg (UGOT) Sweden, Jagiellonian University (UJ) Poland, University of Aarhus (UARH) Denmark, University of Birmingham, University of Glasgow (U.Glasgow) UK and Universita degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI) Italy.
  • 3 research centres two of them from a strong clinical and research environment: Karolinska Institute (KI) Sweden, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (ICSTM) UK, C.S.I.C IBMB Barcelona (CSIC) Spain.
  • 2 SMEs: 4SC AG (4SC) Germany and Anaxomics Biotech (AX) Spain.

All are significant players in their respective fields of competence as apparent by their world-wide recognition and numbers of high impacted publications.


Project Summary

To examine the role of P. gingivalis in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis.


Specific Objectives:

  • A multidisciplinary examination (genetics, epidemiology, molecular immunology and animal models) of susceptibility factors and immune responses in rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis to identify etiologic pathways in both diseases.
  • Detailed analysis of the structure and function of P. gingivalis PAD (peptidylarginine deiminases) and design of specific inhibitors as novel treatments.
  • Taken together, in addition to the translational aspect (finding a lead compound(s) for development of a drug to treat/prevent periodontitis and periodontitis-associated systemic diseases), this project also has a strong scientific, exploratory character related to investigation of PPAD (P. gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase) as a novel virulence factor of P. gingivalis and the development of an animal model linking periodontitis with rheumatoid arthritis.