The role of an aggrecan 32mer fragment in developing osteoarthritis

Project Details

The proteoglycan aggrecan is a key component of the cartilage matrix, responsible for enabling weight bearing, by providing compressive relilience. Aggrecan is degraded in early osteoarthritis (OA) and we have evidence to suggest that a fragment of aggrecan, the ‘32mer’, might initiate the inflammation that leads to cartilge pathology. We have a project funded by the USA Department of Defense to investigate whether a monoclonal antibody that neutralises 32mer activity will alleviate OA following acute joint injury.


  • Ms Suzanne Golub, Research Assistant
  • Ms Karena Last, Research Assistant
  • Ms Jia-Xi Han, Research Assistant
  • Ms Lynette Ong, PhD Student
  • Dr Heather Stanton, Research Officer/Administrator


  • Professor Hideaki Nagase, Kazuhiro Yamamoto & Dr Linda Troeberg, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Oxford, UK
  • Dr Anne-Marie Malfait & Dr Rachel Miller, Rush University, Chicago, USA
  • Prof Alan Grodzinsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA
  • Prof Virginia Kraus, Duke University, USA
  • Prof Anders Aspberg, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof Frank Beier, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  • Dr Paul Holden, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon, USA
  • Prof Danny Chan, University of Hong Kong, China
  • A/Prof Philip Sutton, MCRI
  • Prof John Bateman, MCRI
  • A/Prof Shireen Lamande, MCRI
  • Dr Marc Seal, Royal Children’s Hospital
  • Prof David Jackson, University of Melbourne
  • Prof Eleanor Mackie, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Natalie Sims, St Vincent’s Institute, Melbourne
  • Prof Chris Little, University of Sydney, NSW


  • USA Department of Defense
  • National Health & Medical Research Council  
  • Australian Research Council

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD, Masters, Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

  • Lees, S. Golub, SB., Last, K., Zeng, W., Jackson, DJ. &, Sutton, P. & Fosang, AJ. (2015) Bioactivity in an aggrecan 32-mer fragment is mediated via Toll-like receptor 2 Arthritis  Rheumatol. 67, 1240-1249.

Research Group

Arthritis Research Group

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry, Musculoskeletal

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Arthritis Research Group